Neil's story

Neil had been out of work for a while when he first came to us and was eager to expand his skills and get back into employment. Having previously volunteered at a soup kitchen he signed up to our Catering Trainee Scheme. 

He found the scheme was much more relevant to the type of work he wants to get into than his previous work experience at the soup kitchen and this has boosted his motivation and confidence no end.

“I feel more confident and feel I’ve achieved something. Before coming here I felt I’d hit an end. I’ve learned more here in 9 weeks than I did in over four years at the previous kitchen.”

He achieved his Level 2 Hygiene certificate very quickly and has also completed our Bakery Trainee Scheme, which is part of our social enterprise Rise Bakery. Now he is one of our peer mentors who helps support new trainees when they start the scheme, showing them the ropes and teaching them techniques he has learned on the schemes.

Neil didn’t stop there. He also takes part in Job Club and the Working on It employability programme. In these sessions he has updated his CV, searched for and applied for jobs as well as improves his transferable skills such as communications and interview techniques. He also recently completed an IT course with us achieving a City & Guilds Entry 3 qualification on Online Basics too.

He is optimistic about the future and is particularly cheery while the weather is nice. He loves being outside and while taking part on the Catering Trainee Scheme he paid regular visits to our rooftop allotment garden to pick herbs and veg to use in the kitchen. After coming along to a trainee taster session, Neil showed a natural flair for horticulture and this has led to him signing up for our Gardening Trainee Scheme. He has since completed the scheme and is awaiting his certificate.