The Clink Gardens at HMP Send will highlight the benefits of horticultural therapy for its women prisoners at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show. The charity, HighGround, which assists ex-military patients at the Surrey-based Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, will also join The Clink Charity as part of the Miracle-Growers exhibit.
The Clink Gardens at HMP Send's head gardener and trainer Gary Gates said: “We’re delighted to be joining HighGround and Miracle Gro at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show to showcase just how beneficial horticultural therapy can be in a rehabilitative sense.
"Welcoming 157,000 visitors through its gates each year, the show is the perfect platform and opportunity for us to showcase the work of both The Clink Charity and The Clink Gardens as an individual training project that is making a genuine difference to the lives of prisoners every day, and in turn making society a safer place.”
The Surrey project gives women prisoners practical experience working towards City & Guilds NVQs in horticulture. Prisoners are trained in cultivating crops and rearing free range chickens which are used for the restaurants as part of The Clink Charity's wider initiative.
The first Clink Restaurant was opened in 2009 at Surrey's HMP High Down by then catering manager Alberto Crisci MBE. The charity now runs four restaurants which train prisoners as chefs and waiters as well as two Clink Gardens which provide produce for the restaurants.