Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Galvin Cooks Up a Fresh Start for Troubled Youths

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Galvin Cooks Up a Fresh Start for Troubled Youths

Article excerpt


TEENAGERS from some of London's most crime-ridden housing estates are to be offered the chance to train and work in leading five-star hotels.

Galvin's Chance, a project spearheaded by Michelin-starred chef Chris Galvin, will see youths from neighbourhoods blighted by gun and knife crime trained to work at the highest level of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Le Gavroche, the Hilton on Park Lane, The Dorchester and the Jumeirah Carlton Tower have already made a commitment to provide work experience and job opportunities to up to 20 young apprentices and it is hoped more will follow.

The initiative is the brainchild of Fred Sirieix, the general manager of the Galvin at Windows restaurant at the Hilton.

The magnitude of London's gun and knife problem was brought home to Mr Sirieix when he was jogging through Peckham, where he lives with his girlfriend and five-year-old daughter. He said: "I love running in my spare time and on my route I kept seeing the police signs after there had been a murder.

"It was shocking. There are children in gangs and getting into trouble. It is horrible and we can't stop it, but we can help show there is an alternative."

He said Galvin's Chance will involve trainees working at different hotels or restaurants while receiving training at Westminster Kingsway College as waiters, sommeliers and bar tenders.

The scheme will begin once [pounds sterling]30,000 in funding has been raised. French-born Mr Sirieix added: "I am fortunate to work in Mayfair in this wonderful industry, which can be very rewarding. There are jobs available and anyone can do it. I am no superstar but I have a willingness and that is essential.

"Learning the skills of a sommelier or a bartender requires real dedication and can lead to very fulfilling careers. …

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