The first Cafe 16 is in HMP Northumberland and is designed to provide training and qualifications while Oswinners are serving a sentence. The aim is employment, with a special focus on the catering industry . Our Cafe16 initiative seeks to establish Cafés managed by the Oswin Project and staffed by people with criminal records. The first of these, in HMP Northumberland, opened in March 2020.
The café is run by a Manager and Assistant Manager, with the rest of the team currently serving sentences within the prison. The team benefit from hands-on experience, mentoring and support, as well as training and qualifications in catering, baking, cleaning, and front of house operations. Despite the challenges posed by COVID, the Café remained operational as a takeaway service, and will soon be running with a full compliment of prisoners.
Those on the programme have provided extremely positive feedback, reporting increases in self-confidence, perceptions of their own competence, and a growing optimism about their life after prison.
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