When I first came to the Freedom Centre I was very nervous and anxious. I was shy around people and lacked confidence. I had only worked on a 1 - 1 basis before and then at the Freedom Centre I had to work as part of a team. However, the team members - especially Alice the Kitchen Manager - were very welcoming and friendly. Alice explained everything to me clearly.

I have learnt many new skills through my work placement, including making soups which I wasn't able to do before. I can also help with main courses now and I remember the preferences of individual clients. Alice asked me to come in and cover for her when she was absent which encouraged me lots. Originally I came to the Freedom Centre on a work placement from PLUSS, but I chose to return as a volunteer after the placement finished, so I've worked a total of 475 volunteer hours with them on top of my placement hours - I guess that shows how much I enjoyed being there!

Last week I had a ‘working interview’ whilst volunteering in Freedom's kitchen. It involved a manager from the potential employer coming to see my work and as a result, I was offered the job which I start next week!

I feel so much more confident around people thanks to my time working at Freedom. I'm able to interact with a team and ask questions if I need to, so I feel much more confident about what I have to offer an employer too.

The experience of working in a busy kitchen not only increased my self-esteem, but it definitely played a big part in me getting paid employment in an area that I am interested in too.

I can only say thanks for all that Freedom have helped me with!

-Shaun Milbrook

Every donation makes a difference to the people we help.