Jon Watts

I was a young offender who was offered the chance to do my DofE whilst in prison. There was only space for 15 in the first bunch of lads to be able to start working towards their Bronze Award, but I was hopeful, I had a long sentence, and I was far from being 21 at which I would be shipped to another prison, so I knew my chances were good. I was right, and I was picked, it was a moment that would change the course of the rest of my life! The Skills section had the biggest impact on my life, as I was given the opportunity to work towards an NVQ in cooking. When I was released from prison I worked for Jamie Oliver’s Restaurants for five years, and spent some time at Raymond Blanc and then Angela Hartnett’s restaurants. But in 2015 I started working for myself, offering a private chef experience for events and dinners - I love food, I love cooking, I love my career, I love my life. It is all down to my experiences with the DofE. I could be a million miles away from where I am now.