Adam Achieves his Dream of Working as a Chef
Here's Adams story in his own words...
How did it all come about?
I was participating in activities ran by the homeless charity, Crisis UK, including some cookery sessions and walking in the Peak District. The cooking sessions really sparked my interest in working in a kitchen, so Crisis supported me to complete my level 2 food safety. My work and learning coach spoke to me about an opportunity with Wagamama through the Crisis partnership with PeoplePlus, which reminded me of a dream I’d had when I was 13, to wear chef whites. I’m so excited to be living that dream now.
How has PeoplePlus supported you?
I completed a short pre-employment course with PeoplePlus and they secured me an interview with Wagamama. PeoplePlus explained that Wagamama weren’t worried about experience, they just wanted people with the right attitude. I saw this as an amazing opportunity to be trained up and develop as a chef. I’m really into cooking, and I am loving learning about other cuisines.
What's your experience so far working at Wagamama?
Working at Wagamama has been an amazing experience so far. I am in a permanent role doing 30 hours a week as a Line Chef - my dream is falling into place! They have been flexible with shift end times, to make sure I catch the last train home. They have taken the time to train me, at my pace and really listened to me about when things start to feel overwhelming. I have dyslexia, and the staff have been so inclusive, supporting me to access the information I need in a way that works for me. So far in this role I have learned wok techniques, how to plate up to Wagamama standards and about allergens. Wagamama have an app where I can access online learning, recipes, rotas, salary and annual leave.
How has this improved your life?
Yes! In so many ways...
- Having a regular income
- Helping me get fit, as I bike from my home to the train station for all my shifts
- Getting used to using public transport, through doing this more regularly my anxiety is reducing
- Developing skills in the kitchen
- Meeting new people and socialising has increased my confidence
I feel like I have finally turned myself around. Since starting this job, I have felt like I’m on a high – I feel like it’s helping my depression.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to stay at Wagamama for as long as I can and would love to progress to the role of head chef. When I have saved up a bit of money, I hope to move to Sheffield so I’m not having to travel from Doncaster for my shifts. I’d also like to start volunteering with the park rangers in the Peak District next year, when I’m settled in my role and want to spend my time off in nature.
Any final words?
Finally, I just want to thank the team at PeoplePlus for setting me up with the opportunity to develop a career, not just a job!
Having battled with depression for many years, I can now see the only way is up and i’ve been buzzing since I started working. I’ve developed so many more skills and my confidence has really grown.
For more information about this partnership or programme contact SRF@peopleplus.co.uk.