Miguel Bolekia-Sipi, Junior Chef

Joined YMCA East London in 2014

What do you like best about working for us?

I was formerly a resident and my English wasn’t very good but YMCA gave me a chance to work for them and by communicating with staff and lots of our customers it has enabled me to improve my English as well as to gain valuable experience. I’ve been able to find a place to live and have my independence.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Junior Chef

We have a good team and help each other. I usually cook and set up breakfast, lunch and dinner then help to clean up. We cook a variety of dishes; fish, chicken, rice, etc.

What do you think about the learning and development opportunities offered in YMCA EL?

Personally I’ve had a lot of help and support, especially to settle in this country. I’ve been able to do certificates in catering to build my CV. I’ve also developed skills in communication and dealing with different situations, both in my private and work life.

Name a couple of things you have on your ‘Things I must do before…. list’

I’d like to be a chef in a large restaurant. I’d also like to give support to young people in the community.

If you had the means and resources to invent a gadget that could do anything you choose, what would it be?

Go back in time or into the future! Yes, I’d like a time travel machine.

What would you say to someone thinking of joining us?

I would encourage them to join. It’s a good atmosphere, we’re a big family and there’s lots to learn.