There are now seven of us in the Fifteen Apprentice training team, following the arrival of Katie Patterson, who has taken on the role of welfare & development manager. A qualified youth worker, Katie has had many years of experience working in this field, most recently with St. John’s Ambulance as a trainer for the youth leadership programme, and at HMP Isis as a teacher. In her words:
“My role consists of two main areas here at Fifteen. The first is to support apprentices with any welfare issues they may have. This can include anything from dealing with housing problems, to sorting out their benefits, to looking after their general wellbeing. The second is to organise all the STOD days, such as all the sourcing trips off-site, any cooking masterclasses here at Fifteen and any other non-kitchen days that support their development).
Working at Fifteen appealed to me because I loved the fact that the charity do more than just teach young people to cook. The course also helps apprentices with personal issues and ensures that this support continues even after they graduate. It’s been very exciting to be part of a team that are all on the same page, pushing the apprentices to be the best they can be.
I’m looking forward to seeing the current group progress. Their next big challenge will be in March when they’ll be tasked with coming up with an original food product to cook and serve at Borough market as part of the annual Apprentice Challenge. It will test their team work and delegation skills. They’ll also soon be starting their work placements and taster days so I hope they’ll be able to see how far they’ve come and get a feel for life after Fifteen.”