Café 16 is an exciting an innovative project, designed to provide training and qualifications inside prisons aimed at the catering industry that can lead to employment on release. Our Cafe16 initiative seeks to establish Cafés managed by the Oswin Project and staffed by ex-offenders. The first of these, in HMP Northumberland, opened in March 2020.
Our café 16 initiative provides an opportunity to develop new skills, attitudes, and ultimately a new way of living for ex offenders. Over the previous year, we have operated a prisoner staffed Café in HMP Northumberland. 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 has largely remained operational as a takeaway service, and ex-offenders 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.