Hans Rausing and his wife make huge £6 million donation to prison charity which will quadruple number of inmates getting catering qualifications by end of next year

  • The Clink Charity has been given £6million by the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust 
  • Prison charity provides hospitality industry training to inmates across the UK 
  • 2,000 prisoners will now undertake catering qualifications by the end of 2022 

The largest ever donation to a prison charity will quadruple the number of offenders getting job training to help turn their lives around.

The Clink Charity, which gives hospitality industry training to inmates, has been handed £6million by the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust.

The donation, part of a £12million programme, will mean the charity can increase the number of prisoners taking catering qualifications from 500 annually to 2,000 by the end of next year.

There are currently 11 Clink Kitchen projects, and by the end of next year they are due to be operating at 70 prisons. Christopher Moore, chief executive of The Clink, said the donations were a ‘game-changer’ that will help cut reoffending dramatically.

The charity’s schemes help reduce the number of victims of crime and provide trained staff for the hospitality industry, which currently has more than 280,000 vacancies.

Hans and Julia Rausing (pictured)  gave £8 million to save youth centres from permanent closure due to the pandemic

‘In 2019 we had 500 students and by the end of next year we should be able to increase that to 2,000, at a time when the hospitality industry is in real need of staff,’ said Mr Moore.

‘It does an amazing job in reducing the chance of our students reoffending – in fact it reduces reoffending by more than 65 per cent. To scale that up takes huge investment and the Rausings have generously put up half the funding. It’s a game-changer.’

The charity already runs restaurants, staffed by prisoners, inside or near jails where the public can eat.

The new initiative, Clink Kitchens, will place a specialist ‘chef trainer’ in prison kitchens to help inmates who cook for fellow prisoners to gain City and Guilds National Vocational Qualifications, or NVQs. 

Offenders nearing the end of their sentences will also get help from support workers to draw up a CV, open a bank account and find somewhere to live, to make it easier to get a job.

Julia and Hans Rausing said: ‘We are pleased to be able to support the Clink Charity as it rolls out its Clink Kitchens programme across so many more prisons. 

‘The charity has built a brilliant track record over the last 11 years providing people with new opportunities and qualifications that can genuinely turn their lives around and in turn reduce reoffending rates.’

Other philanthropists including Sandy and Sue Arbuthnot and the Porticus organisation have also contributed to the three-year project.

Mr Rausing, whose Swedish grandfather Ruben founded food packaging firm Tetra Pak, and wife Julia also donated £1million to the Mail Force campaign set up by this newspaper last year to provide PPE to NHS frontline staff.

Clink Kitchens have already been set up at jails including Brixton in south London, Bristol, Styal in Cheshire and Downview in Surrey.

One Clink student, who took part in the course at Cardiff jail, said: ‘It gives people skills. It gives people a work ethic, something I had never had.’ 

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