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07 November, 2020
Mirhan Smith from The Larder Cook School in West Lothian was awarded the Apprentice of The Year (SCQF Level 5) at the Skills Development Scotland Apprenticeships Awards 2019 in Dundee on Thursday 7th November 2019.
Mirhan has worked for the social enterprise based in West Lothian for over two years and has an incredible story to tell. She joined as a cafe/kitchen Assistant, progressing to trainee chef due to her commitment, talent, and drive to become a great chef.
Mirhan’s journey was even more remarkable when you consider that during this time she became homeless twice and overcame adversity in her personal life. This award is the least that she deserves.
The Larder is a social enterprise that supports the most disadvantaged into careers in the hospitality sector. It provides a nurturing, trauma informed vocational learning environment where young people can build their confidence, skills, qualifications and gain work experience whilst being supported to overcome adversity in their personal lives.
Angela Moohan, Founder and Chief Executive of The Larder said
“Mirhan has been an exceptional member of staff. Her journey is testimony to her drive and determination to make something of her life in her chosen career in hospitality. The Larder believes that everyone has the potential to reach his or her full potential, given the right support at the right time. We believe that everyone has the right to learn in an environment that meets their learning needs and Mirhan is an excellent example of someone who has taken that chance and turned it into life changing opportunity. “
On being announced as the winner Mirhan said
“I am buzzing!! If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be standing here with this award I would not have believed you. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it is all real. I want to thank The Larder for all that they have done for me, I am moving on knowing that they all have my back and that I can rely on their support as I move into the next phase of my life”
Mirhan has now secured a job at The Rutland Hotel, Kyloe Restaurant as a commis chef where she will learn from some of the best in the industry. Angela said
“we know that Mirhan will give this her best and that she will go on to achieve even greater success and become a great chef. The whole team is so proud of her and we wish her the very best over the coming years”