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Jamie, Jay and Marius after the graduation ceremony

30 November 2018

Jamie and Marius met last winter while staying in the Glass Door night shelters. On Tuesday 27 November, they graduated side-by-side from Pret's Rising Stars programme.

The Rising Stars programme is an employment programme that aims to break they cycle of homelessness by providing training and work. The programme "simply mirrors exactly the same training that any person coming to Pret would receive, but we layer on some extra support for our Rising Stars," says Nicki Fisher, Head of Pret Foundation Trust, which also provides a grant in support of one of Glass Door's local shelters.

Jamie and Marius, alongside others in the programme, received 14 weeks of training in the kitchen and on the till. During that time, participants are paid and can work towards becoming independent. Says Marius:

It got me back to my old life. Now I’m back to normal, and that’s good.

Rising Stars

Jamie, 25, is originally from Manchester. He stayed in the night shelter last winter and met regularly with Glass Door's employability caseworker Jay Barnett, who helped Jamie build his CV to find a job.

Marius, 32, is from Romania and worked with caseworker Karolina to apply for a replacement ID after it had been stolen.

Fellow participants of the programme described the pair as a "double act" who are "full of energy" and "chatty".

Jamie and Marius now continue to work for Pret in different branches. They both live in Stratford and often meet up socially after a shift. 

Jay says: 

The Rising Stars programme is an incredible opportunity for people who want to get back on their feet. I'm really proud of Jamie and Marius for their dedication and hard work. 

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Read more about Marius' journey