Galvin’s Chance offers young Londoners the opportunity to transform their lives. After passing the interview stage, and completing 4 weeks of pre-employment training many of the participants have gone on to successfully secure long-term employment in the hospitality industry and elsewhere. We are delighted to share with you three of their stories.
Damian was referred to Galvin’s Chance by Lifeline Projects. Damian was at University but decided to drop out, and as a result found himself unable to support himself and struggled to find a job. He started selling drugs and received a criminal record after being caught. When he came across Galvin’s Chance he had reached the point of feeling that he’d never be able to find employment.
From the start of the programme Damian was interested in the training, enjoyed group activities and discussions and engaged positively with managers on different site visits. Although he had problems with lateness at the beginning, this improved as training progressed.
Early on Damian expressed an interest in doing a placement at Harrods, which he successfully completed, and they were so impressed by him they offered him a permanent contract to work at the burger bar on the fourth floor on completion of his training.
Damian is proud to work for Harrods, which shows in his professional manner, quick learning and punctuality, which has continued to improve. His manager is extremely pleased with Damian’s work and the two enjoy an excellent working relationship. Issues in Damian’s personal life have improved vastly too, thanks in part to the intensive mentoring that Galvin’s Chance provided. Damian is now able to save money and often spends his free time pursuing his passion, music.
AmyLeigh also entered the Galvin’s Chance programme believing that her criminal record would prevent her from getting a job. Despite already having a Level 2 hospitality and catering qualification, experience working in a pub kitchen and in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry, AmyLeigh was held back by her lack of confidence. AmyLeigh successfully completed a placement at Talkington Bates, who offered her a permanent position.
During training, AmyLeigh identified fine dining as an area she would like to work in and greatly enjoyed the site visit to Duck & Waffle where she met Executive Head Chef Daniel Doherty. Noting her desire to work there, Galvin’s Chance put AmyLeigh forward for the position of commis chef when one became available. For a while AmyLeigh worked for both Talkington Bates and Duck & Waffle. After resigning from Talkington Bates, AmyLeigh was able to work 50 hours a week as a commis chef at Duck &Waffle. Having also resolved a couple of personal issues, AmyLeigh has been able to commit to working hard and concentrating on her career. These endeavours have paid off as she has recently been promoted to demi chef de partie at Duck & Waffle.
AmyLeigh is very appreciative of the help and opportunities she received from Galvin’s Chance: “I am more stable than I have ever been; my career is going well, the pay is good and my living circumstances are good. I wouldn’t have got where I am today without your help.”
Muhammed, “Mo”, 18
Mo had been unemployed since leaving an IT college course which he hadn’t enjoyed when he was referred to Galvin’s Chance by BlueTouch consultancy. During training Mo was very reliable and really enjoyed the challenge. Mo was originally offered a placement at The Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane involving both serving and cooking in their restaurant. However, Mo’s hard work and long hours impressed staff and he was put in the kitchen where he was considered for a chef apprenticeship. After several successful interviews he became a commis chef and is now undertaking an apprenticeship at the Intercontinental, where is learning from a range of experienced chefs.
Mo had to travel from Croydon to the Intercontinental in time for his shifts starting at 4am, which proved to be a challenge! However, Galvin’s Chance was able to help him with his first month of travel and Mo has since moved into a new affordable, self-contained property in Thornton Heath. Mo now works six days a week and has managed incredibly well with the major lifestyle changes.
Mo has described the past year as an “explosion” and says he can’t believe the support he has received and his achievements. Mo’s remarkable turnaround is evident from his recent meeting with his foster mother. The two had last seen each other when she took him to anger management classes; now Mo was taking her to celebrate her birthday at Duck & Waffle – a restaurant he had visited during his Galvin’s Chance training. Mo recently spoke about his experiences at the Mayfair Power & Tower Race, an important fundraiser for the Galvin’s Chance programme. The Executive Chef at the Intercontinental expects Mo to become a chef de partie in a couple of years, if he continues as he is.