More than £45,000 raised at the Clink charity ball will have a "lasting impact on many lives", supporting the rehabilitation of prisoners into the hospitality industry.
Guests from the catering and hospitality industry came together at the Royal Lancaster hotel on Hyde Park, London, on Friday to support the charity, which works in partnership with the prison and probation service to provide hospitality training and qualifications in prisons across the UK.
Clink graduates assisted in the preparation of a four-course menu, which was served to 400 guests with the support of catering college students from Westminster Kingsway and Centrepoint students.
Chief executive of the Clink, Chris Moore, said: “Without the kindness of our sponsors and generosity of our guests the charity would not be able to offer so many prisoners this unique chance to transform their lives and help create second chances. The Clink ball provides an amazing opportunity to raise funds that have a lasting impact on so many lives.”
Among the fundraising activities were a raffle, sabrage and an auction, with prizes including a private box at Ascot and a week’s accommodation in Tuscany. Two bidders each won a dinner party for 10 guests catered by chef Ben Purton and served by Clink graduate Mo Ali, who had earlier spoken about how the charity provided him with opportunities in the industry.
Vic Laws MBE, group restaurant ambassador, said: “The annual Clink ball is a chance to celebrate the incredible work the Clink charity achieves across all its projects and we’d like to thank our supporters, sponsors and generous guests for their commitment. We are immensely grateful and proud of the wonderful students, graduates, hotel staff and the dedicated chefs who have helped create this memorable evening.”
The event was held in partnership with the Royal Lancaster London and supported by general manager Sally Beck. The menu was developed by senior head chef John Robinson and executive pastry chef Scott Villacora.