Prison’s chips generate cash for charity


When you think about fundraising for charity, your thoughts don’t immediately turn to the kitchen. However, HMP Bure, in partnership with Norfolk based eco-firm Living Fuels, has cooked up a great way to help – by collecting used cooking oil from their kitchen and turning it into cash for charity.

In fact, HMP Bure, who currently have a total waste recycling rate of 60%, excelled themselves in 2011 by collecting enough oil to produce energy to make over 3 million cups of tea! As praise for their excellent recycling rates, Living Fuels suggested a charity donation which reflected the amount of oil collected from the Eastern Region’s prisons last year. Keeping their local connection, HMP Bure’s chosen charity was Nelson’s Journey, who works with many of Norfolk’s bereaved children.

All money donated to the charity goes to supporting children and young people aged 0-17years inclusive that have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. In 2011, 242 children were referred to Nelson’s Journey for their support; the charity needs £240,000 to operate each year.

Graeme Kirkup of HMP Bure said of the scheme: “We are happy to support such a charity as Nelson’s Journey and all the great work they carry out with bereaved children across Norfolk. As a government service we take our responsibilities for protecting the environment and bio diversity seriously and Living Fuels help us in this task by turning our oil into bio-liquid to produce green electricity without the use of chemicals. We try to reduce our impact on the environment where possible and Living Fuels as one of our partners help us with this. Although HMP Bure have taken the lead, this is an effort by the Eastern Region’s prisons as a whole and I hope we can continue to support charities in the future as well as helping the protection of the environment.”

Nicki Gibson, of Nelson’s Journey continued: “The amount of money that Living Fuels and HMP Bure have raised for Nelson’s Journey, will help the equivalent of 3 bereaved children to attend one of our therapeutic residential weekends. I am very pleased to receive this cheque on behalf of Nelson’s Journey and thank Living Fuels and HMP Bure for supporting us and helping our charity to make a difference to the lives of bereaved children and families living in Norfolk.”

Used cooking oil collection not only sees prisons’ used cooking oil generating cash for charities, at the same time it helps to reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels by producing green electricity for use in businesses and homes across the UK. A used cooking oil tank is placed on site for prison kitchens to dispose of their waste oil and once full, Living Fuels collect the oil and take it to their state-of-the-art recovery facility, where it is recovered into a 100% natural and renewable bioliquid without the use of chemicals. This bioliquid is then fed through standard diesel engines and turned into electricity, which provides energy to the National Grid at times of unexpected power demand.

Just one litre of oil can produce enough green electricity to power an energy saving light bulb for 225 hours or a DVD player for 440 hours.

Living Fuels’ Operations Director, Rob Murphy said: “Nelson’s Journey supports a very worthy cause which is often overlooked. We are proud to be able to help in any way and the fact that used cooking oil collected from HMP Bure allows us to help such a great charity, whilst reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels is doubly beneficial.”