Toushane’s story

Before starting Galvin’s Chance in the summer of 2017, Toushane had been unemployed since 2014 after he came out of prison. Although he was determined to stay on the straight and narrow he was becoming increasingly frustrated that he was unable to find work. Indeed it seemed to him that the longer he went without securing employment the less likely he would truly be able to turn his life around, especially as he also had a criminal record. However, he then applied and was accepted onto the Galvin’s Chance programme!

At the beginning of the programme Toushane was confident and friendly, but it was clear that he needed a lot of polishing on how to present himself in more formal and professional environments if he was to be successful. On our first couple of industry visits he sometimes struggled to channel his enthusiasm and excitement and there was a danger that he was coming across as overconfident to prospective employers.

What helped to change this behaviour was that, first and foremost, Toushane was receptive to the feedback and he was willing to work hard to improve his awareness. These industry visits were very important as they really helped to reinforce the accepted language and behaviour in the workplace that we were teaching, and it gave him the chance to see this in reality. Indeed, about half way through the programme his naturally confident disposition was starting to come out as positively charming and sociable. It was clear he had the potential to excel in a customer service role.

As part of the programme Toushane then went on a 2-week work placement at Park Plaza London Riverbank, a modern and vibrant 4-star hotel in central London. Although he started his placement in the restaurant he was asked if he wanted to try working as a Concierge at the beginning of the second week, as the hotel felt his personality would really shine through in this position. He loved working as a Concierge as it really suited his people-centric personality and it meant for the first time he had an idea of what to do with his life. His outstanding attitude and performance as a Concierge was rewarded with a permanent job offer at the end of his placement which he delightfully accepted.

It has now been 6 months since Toushane started his permanent position and he continues to grow both personally and professionally, only just starting to tap into the great potential he has. The Galvin’s Chance programme provided him the platform to learn about professional behaviour, to be able tailor his personality to get the best out of himself, and was also the link to an employer willing to invest in long term potential. The programme has given him the impetus to change his life and finally take a gigantic first step in his professional life.