Angel’s story

Angel and Greta at Shaker learning how to make a mojitoAngel is 24 years old and lives in Middlesex. He works at Galvin at Windows at the top of London Hilton on Park Lane, where he started in November 2012.  Angel is being trained as a waiter in the Michelin-starred restaurant and supports the back of house and service teams.

Angel heard of Galvin’s Chance through his probation officer.  He had been job searching for a while but unable to find anything stable.  Angel had some prior experience including working in restaurant-club in Fulham and a bar in Kingston as well as Timpsons key-cutting service and working as a cleaner.

“When I attended the interview for the Galvin’s Chance programme, everyone was very welcoming. I didn’t know exactly what placement or job I would end up with so I just came along and did my best and was really pleased to get onto the programme. I was looking for a chance, and this was it.”

Following completion of the pre-employment training course offered to all Galvin’s Chance candidates, a two-week work placement was offered at Galvin at Windows.   Angel excelled and was offered an ongoing paid role in the team from December 2012.

“I have a lot on and I’m learning a lot. Because I started just before Christmas I was thrown in the deep end and had to quickly learn.  Since then although the restaurant is busy I have a bit more time to be trained. Everyone is very helpful to me, although there are a lot of demands too!  The pressure in the back of house is unbelievable, and then you have to come out on the floor and be calm and present your best face to the customer. It can be a challenge.”

Angel is contracted for 40 hours a week. He finds travel to and from Middlesex into central London a challenge sometimes. But Angel says:

“It is worth it. I’ve realized there are lots of opportunities out there and it’s really opened my eyes. It’s not just me – I know that Galvin’s Chance has helped lots of us. I keep in touch with George and Greta (two other young people on the programme currently employed at The Ritz and at Intercontinental). My friends at home are really happy for me and proud – they know what I’ve been through in the past.”

In the future Angel is keen to stay for as long as possible in his current employment, learning and developing while he gets his life back on track.

“I’ll do my best – that’s all I can do!”