Galvin’s Chance was initiated by Chris Galvin and Fred Sirieix in partnership with DM Thomas Foundation for Young People in 2009. Since then over 170 young people have participated on the into work programme, gaining important skills, training, mentoring and experience to secure employment in the hospitality industry. Now in its 10th year, find out more about the programme and the young people who have taken part here.

Chris and Jeff Galvin

We are passionate about the hospitality industry and believe it is a truly amazing sector – exciting, diverse and constantly evolving – one that offers young people a real opportunity to develop a career and learn life skills, whilst enhancing our guests’ experience as a result.

The Galvin’s Chance programme offers a unique platform for young people who have faced various barriers to employment to achieve paid work in top hotels and restaurants geared to customer service at the highest levels. Alongside this they can undertake a recognised qualification to further their careers, an NVQ level 2 Apprenticeship in Hospitality.

We know that with hard work, discipline, rigour and dedication, working in hospitality can be very rewarding and can give a wealth of great opportunities. It is both our responsibility and privilege to support these young people, give them a chance and support them through this structured into-work programme.

Rallying other prestigious employers within the industry to lend their enthusiasm, skills and dedication, we are able as an industry to enable, encourage and mentor young people into our sector.

Over the past few years we have developed the programme with our delivery partners and have been able to provide life-changing career opportunities for young people. We hope that you will join us in providing your support, where possible, for this worthy initiative. Thanks to your interest and involvement, we can work together to support the lives of unemployed young people into stable careers in the hospitality sector and helping more young people fulfill their potential and change their lives for the better.

FredFred Sirieix

I am excited to be part of Galvin’s Chance and privileged to have been one of its co-founders. The programme started because I witnessed a series of crimes on the Old Kent Road for a period of six months back in 2008. As I was diverted by the police onto the housing estates it became clear to me something had to be done and that I had to work and make a difference in our local communities – unfortunately the lack of opportunity, real and perceived; the attractions of gang membership; disillusion and disaffection, lead all too often to crime taking root in young hearts and minds.

Additionally, the situation of young people being without work for months, sometimes for years, eroding their confidence and hope for the future. This combined with the real opportunities in the Hospitality sector, which is rapidly growing and the need for highest levels of customer service remaining unmet.

Working in partnership with the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People and The Springboard Charity, we established a programme inviting a number of recognised top hotels, bars and restaurant names to offer placements leading to paid work in front-of-house, guest-facing roles, supported by a programme of pre-employment training, mentoring and after-care support.

A key feature of the programme’s development has been the innovative voluntary fundraising that enables Galvin’s Chance to happen. We are indebted to all those who have helped support the programme so far, whether by taking part in the Mayfair Power & Tower Race, by stepping into the boxing ring for Rumble in the Kitchen, or by sponsoring special events and making generous donations at our participating restaurants. All valuable commitments that, along with the work placements and mentoring, make a collective positive impact on the lives of our young people.

I have been delighted to meet and work with some fantastic, enthusiastic young people, who simply needed a chance. As the needs facing young people for employment continue to challenge our society, I hope that Galvin’s Chance continues to contribute to the solution.

Thank you for your support and for being part of our mission.