Combating Homelessness, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Change

First Base and Cooking Helped me Move on from Homelessness

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Mark was homeless and sleeping on the streets of Brighton when he first accessed First Base Day Centre in 2012.

He had lost his confidence and motivation and was looking for a way out of his situation but just didn’t know where to begin.

Mark’s key worker spent some time with him; learning about his interests and the things that he enjoyed doing before he became homeless.

He spoke passionately about cooking and said he had enjoyed the creativity of preparing food before his situation had changed so dramatically.

His key worker suggested he joined the Catering Training Project, a six week course offering advice on nutrition, food hygiene, menu planning and budgeting as well practical skills to cook great food.

Mark enjoyed the course and showed he had a real flair in the kitchen. He decided to enrol on Dine!, a social enterprise run at First Base that gives participants the chance to learn the skills needed to work in a busy kitchen and to gain qualifications to help to secure a job in the catering industry.

Mark now has a place to call home and has been accepted on a catering course at college. His future is looking bright and for the first time, Mark says he is looking forward to the future.

I’d always liked cooking but, I was sleeping rough for a year and a half so found it really hard to cook for myself! When I started on the Catering Training Project I picked it up quite easily and decided to go and work with Dine! and continue my training.

I now really enjoy cooking and would love to work on a cruise ship one day.

Mark Griffiths



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