Preparing the baked goods for daffodil day.Prisoners at Otago Corrections Facility are supporting the Cancer Society and Daffodil day by donating baked goods for a fundraising stand in Milton as part of the annual street appeal.

Food sold at the fundraiser is baked by prisoners engaged in the prison’s catering and hospitality trade training programme.

“We are always looking at ways of being involved in our local community,” Says Prison Director Lyndal Miles

“The Cancer Society means a great deal to people. In one way or another, cancer affects the lives of everyone in New Zealand and the men in prison are no exception to this.”

“Being involved in a local event that helps raise funds for cancer research and services was something the staff and men felt very passionate about. Tying this in with Industry training was a perfect match.”

Principal Instructor, Sally Scott is the driving force behind the charity initiative.

Stall at Milton Supervalue.“I saw the local branch of the Cancer Society advertising their need for assistance in the build up to their national appeal and collection day. It is something that I personally feel strongly about and we decided that as a major local employer in the area, we could do something for this great cause.”

A group of eight prisoners from the current baking trainees, graduates of the programme and others working in the prison kitchen have teamed up to complete the baking.

The prison has a large commercial style kitchen which runs along the lines of a restaurant operation. Prisoners prepare three meals a day for the around 470 offenders in the prison.

“It is a great opportunity for the prisoners to give something back to the community while still being held in custody,” says Sally.

“Prison food is pretty basic, so opportunities to undertake more elaborate baking are well received and an important part of training.”

“The men revel in opportunities like this to create baking that they don’t get to do in the prison and show off their new found skills to the public.” “The men take great pride in this project, so much so that they have been having debates to decide who will bake what item. They are very proud to have been able to help the community in this way. It is a charity that is very close to their hearts too,” says Sally.