Ben first started with YMCA Key College through our Alternative Provision courses and went on to enrol on our Hospitality and Catering course.
“I came to YMCA Key College because I’d been excluded from school. I was hanging around with a bit of a bad crowd at the time and got in to quite a few fights and was making some really bad decisions.
My family life wasn’t great; most of my family were just always shouting at me and putting me down. My mum really looked out for me but that was about it.
The turning point for me was when I asked to come to YMCA Key College and they accepted me. I was still in with a bad crowd and didn’t have the best attitude when I first started, but they gave me chance after chance. My tutors looked out for me and told me when I was doing wrong. They were so friendly – they really are the nicest people you’ll ever have teaching you.
After graduating from YMCA Key College I got on to an apprenticeship at a restaurant in Nottingham. I went back and told YMCA Key College, they were the first people I told and they were so proud of me, they even brought me my first set of knives to help me start my career.
I never thought I’d get here. Now I’m running my own section in the restaurant and I do all my own prep – I’m so happy.
In another couple of years I hope to be able to help my boss even further by running the whole restaurant.
My advice to others would be – don’t let others put you down, stay strong, you can do it.”
You can watch Ben’s full story below: