A culinary event with a difference in Glasgow has helped secure full-time employment at Kained Holdings restaurants for two young men supported by Action for Children Scotland.
Jordan Docherty and Daniel McLaughlin found themselves in prison after facing significant challenges in the early life, stemming from troubled backgrounds and a lack of opportunities.
As part of an amazing transformation after their release, the pair were part of the team which delivered a six course meal for diners at the annual Yes Chef! Dinner at Glasgow’s Hilton on Sunday. As further evidence of how the charity has turned their lives around, they will go straight into full-time employment after the event.
Their enthusiasm and talent captured the eye of Kained Holdings’ development chef Scott Leask, who was working with pair to train them for the event.
He said: “This proves that if you have a willingness to change, doors aren’t closed. I have been so impressed by the effort of both Jordan and Daniel, they’ll be brilliant additions to the team at Kained.
“Sunday’s dinner proves how far they’ve come. It was absolutely incredible to watch them work and to see the reaction from the crowd. No matter what your background is, there is no limitation to what you can achieve with dedication.
“There’s no telling where they may go with their careers. I have very high hopes for them. Without the Yes Chef! Programme I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet them so I am extremely glad Kained Holdings is so heavily involved.”
The service not only removes the pair from an environment that could have led them to facing police charges or even prison sentences, but has also trains them to cook at the very highest level.
Initially a means to allow them to prepare meals on a limited budget, the ‘Yes Chef!’ programme has seen a number of the young men move into a career in the hospitality sector.
Paul Carberry, Director of Action for Children in Scotland, said: “We are incredibly proud that young men who have come through this year’s ‘Yes Chef’ programme will enter full-time careers in the hospitality sector.
“They have shown incredible levels of commitment and deserve recognition for all their efforts. Before this programme, some of these boys had barely spent any time in a kitchen but are now about to embark on careers in top restaurants. That is a huge achievement and shows the positive work within our ‘Moving On Scotland’ project.
“We are grateful to Kained Holdings’ MD Graham Suttle and development chef Scott for their support and for offering the young men employment. This programme gives those we support the chance to develop new skills and gain qualifications. These guys just needed someone to believe in them and give them a chance. It is fantastic that Kained Holdings have given them just that.”
‘Yes Chef!’ is a 12-week programme run by the charity’s ‘Moving On Scotland’ service. The service works with young people recently liberated from short-term prison sentences to help rehabilitate back into their local communities.
Staff support the young men to find accommodation on their release and access benefits they are entitled to as well as assisting with practical skills to help them find employment, education or training.
‘Moving On Scotland’ is delivered by Action for Children Scotland in Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, East Ayrshire and the Highlands with 81% of the people the service supports not returning to prison.