Remarkable Food For Your Freezer

RAW Talent Catch-up

Posted on 25 March 2019

We caught up with John, formally known as Red, for a quick update about the COOK RAW Talent programme.

Watch the video below for a recap of his personal story.


A lot’s changed for John since we made that video. He and his wife are now proud parents to a little boy, who arrived in December. And, a few months ago, he started working a few days a week in the COOK office as a RAW Talent Advocate.


Q: So are you not in the Mix & Weigh Team in the Kitchen anymore?


John: No. I was in Mix & Weigh for over four years, but I’ve now moved to Prep for three days a week, which is easier to balance with the two days I’m in the office.


Q: How’s it been?


John: Overwhelming, to be honest. Eight weeks in and I feel like I’m just finding my feet. I’ve never worked in an office or even used a computer – I don’t even use my phone that much! Luckily Andrew in the office has been teaching me and now I’m hungry to learn more.


Q: What have you and Annie, the RAW Talent Manager, been up to?


John: I suppose the main thing is we’ve met with some partners and possible partners for RAW Talent at COOK. When I was in prison, I felt forgotten. All I could see were the holes in the system. But I’ve been so impressed with the number of organisations and companies now looking into giving people a second chance. It’s humbling.


Q: What have been the highlights so far?


John: So many. I’ve had meetings at the Shard in London, I visited Parliament with the charity Clean Sheet – which was unreal – and I went to Elmley Prison. That was a strange one, as I’d spent a lot of time there as an inmate. I saw a lot of people I knew and seeing the change in me brought a few of them to tears. It was a real moment. The prison officers couldn’t believe it, and said, “We’ll have to get the gov’nor.” In the past, he’d given me a lot of adjudications [the result of a disciplinary offence in prison] but he didn’t even recognise me now. I’m going to talk to a group at Rochester Prison next.


Q: What else is coming up?


John: I’ll be buddying all our new RAW Talents when they arrive, to help them settle in at COOK, as well as talking to all our partners.


Q: Doesn’t all this public speaking make you nervous?


John: Yeah, definitely! But it’s worth it, isn’t it?


To find out more about our RAW Talent scheme, click here.

comments powered by Disqus

Recent Posts




To our newsletter for offers, competitions and fun stuff!

£5 OFF!

With your first online order over £35 when you sign up to the COOK newsletter*

We use cookies to enhance your experience and enable online shopping. Please confirm you accept the use of cookies.

For more information read our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms.

Find out more