Setting the example…The Jamie Oliver Foundation

I’ve talked about how making small changes can make a big difference and how important mentoring is not only to students but to me as well. In this post I want to talk about the good work being done by Jamie Oliver through his amazing foundation.

For the last 11 years Jamie has made it his mission to use food as a way of improving the lives of people around the world. Here in the UK he’s campaigned for better school dinners, encouraged people to toss takeaways in favour of making meals and provided at risk youth with a means of changing their lives around by working in the food industry. Now he’s even taking his campaign to America and start a food revolution!

The work Jamie does inspires me in so many ways, not least of which is because I’ve been aware of the importance of nutrition from the age of 17. Mostly, though it’s his dedication to improving the lives of young people that has had the most impact on me. Jamie is truly passionate about reconnecting young people to the food they eat not only to protect their health and combat obesity but to develop basic skills like cooking and veg gardening. These programme as aimed at school children but his fifteen foundation picks up where his school programmes leave off by offering people between the ages of 18-24 the chance to start a fulfilling career in food. If you haven’t been to a fifteen restaurant yet you should because each meal helps further fund the amazing programme.

Jamie is setting an inspiring example on how to change lives through something as simple as good food. I look forward to continuing to support Jamie and his amazing Foundation alongside my own charitable and mentoring schemes.


What mentoring means to me

My mother was a very successful businesswoman who worked incredibly hard and, in a way, she was my first mentor. I do think that parents play an important role in shaping their children’s attitude towards work and the importance of striving no matter how successful you are. My mother set a great example and even now I know I can ring her for advice but I know that a lot of people don’t have that person whom them can call which is why I’m such a believer in the importance of mentoring.

I am participating in the Inspire & Mentor programme with Marie Claire and am loving working with my mentee Madeleine Casey. I started my business at just 16 and I know that confidence can be a big hurdle for young people…actually it can be a hurdle for people of any age! I know how to get the best out of people so when a person says to me that they want to start their own business I remind them that anything is possible, you just have to trust that it is. I am a believer that you have to visualize your future and learn from your past mistakes to make things happen for yourself. Passion, drive and determination will see you through so long as you believe in yourself and stay positive. This is what I tell all my mentees and the people that are part of my design school. But the learning is not all one way, the energy of my students is so compelling that I can’t help but learn from their enthusiasm!

Being able to offer advice and words of encouragement to others means a lot to me so I look forward to passing on as much of my knowledge and experience with others that I can.