Prisoners grow out of bad habits with greenhouse scheme

Guests enjoying Her Majestys hospitality at Liverpool Prison are being given a chance to grow themselves a new career by learning greenhouse and cooking skills that could get them a job on their release.

The innovative scheme, named From Greenhouse to Kitchen, teaches inmates how to grow and cook their own food to a good standard and has led to a number of ex-convicts finding employment after their time is served.

Prison head of learning Lynda Oakley explained to the Guardian that the course grew from a simple education project into a legitimate path to employment.

"We initially set out to be a positive influence on offenders choices about growing their own produce and eating healthily, and to set up a course with accreditation," she told the newspaper.

"We also wanted them to learn how to purchase goods within a budget.

"However, as the course progressed, relationships were built up with employers, allowing ex-prisoners to enter the employment market and giving them opportunities for further training and development."

The course begins in the greenhouse, where prisoners are taught how to grow their own food, before moving on into the kitchen to learn how to cook the food they have grown.