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Fatouma’s story

Fatouma is 20 and lives in Camberwell, south London, and was put in touch with Become by her social worker. “My social worker thought it would be a good idea if I went to their new workshops on writing CVs and job interviews,” she says. “I was pretty nervous about it to begin with – I didn’t have any sort of CV at all, and I didn’t speak good English either!”

The workshops form part of our innovative programme for young care leavers, put together by the charity and luxury hotel company Apex Hotels, which runs eight four star hotels in London and Scotland. Initially, young care leavers – many of whom have never had a CV – are given expert help and advice on drafting their resume and attending interviews by the Apex Hotels HR team. Then, they are invited onto a period of two months’ work experience at one of their luxury hotels in the capital.

For Fatouma, however, the programme delivered an unexpected bonus when she was offered a job at Apex’s prestigious Temple Court Hotel in London. She said: “It's the first job I’ve ever had, and I am so grateful to be given this chance. They’ve given me my first experience of work ever, and it’s such a fantastic opportunity.

“I learned so much on the work experience, but I never expected them to offer me a job – I never even considered that they would take me on, but they did!

“It feels absolutely amazing to be able to do things on my own, and afford to live without relying on other people. I have shown I can stand on my own two feet - they’ve given me my independence.

“Apex give us so many opportunities, they encourage us to try out other roles as well. I’d like to try and work on reception, but I was worried I didn’t have any qualifications. They are not worried about that, they give us training and really help us to think for the future.”

Fatouma is currently studying English at LeSoCo college and plans to study health and social care next year, continuing to work at the hotel part-time, as she works towards her ambition of being a doctor.

Tony Mullen, HR Manger at Apex Hotels, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to working with young people from care, like Fatouma, who, through no fault of their own, need a bit of a ‘step-up’ in life. Fatouma is a fantastic colleague and we are so pleased we were able to offer her a role with us. We’re looking forward to working with Become to continue to offer young care leavers employment advice, support, experience and opportunities.”

“It's the first job I’ve ever had, and I am so grateful to be given this chance.”

Please support our work today and help more young care leavers, like Fatouma, to lead successful lives.