Life Skills

With thanks to a generous grant from the London Freemasons and supported by Tom Aikens, and CPL Training, we are excited to be launching our new Life Skills Hub programme, aiming to provide essential life skills and long-term support to people facing or experiencing homelessness in London.

The hub will be a centre to train those being rehoused and re-employed on how to live independently, whilst developing their employability skills and giving them the tools, they need to get back on their feet. Consisting of five, 3-week skills training programmes, we will initially support 60 people transitioning from hostels to prepare them for independent living and help them find a new career in hospitality. All participants will receive a qualification to take them forward to access NVQ level 1 and 2 certifications and each will receive an OAPA Life Skills Course certificate which can be provided to potential employers.

The OAPA Life Skills programme will be run by industry volunteers who consist of chefs, such as OAPA ambassador and Michelin Chef Tom Aikens, and volunteers from the hospitality sector, as well as working with specialist trainers to provide quality training. On completion of the programme, each participant will become an OAPA member where they will have access to a broad range of support, on top of being placed onto the pathway to employment.

The hub will also provide life skills sessions, with participants learning valuable information around the practical benefits of cooking for oneself, training in the production of menus from OAPA’s employer partners, presentation of dishes by celebrity and professional chefs, CV writing, interviewing skills, the use of IT, budgeting, additional support that they might need and access to the OAPA Jobs Board.

Greg Mangham, Founder of Only a Pavement Away, said, “Not only are we looking to get vulnerable groups into employment, more importantly, the OAPA Life Skills Hub will allow participants to adopt crucial life skills such as budgeting and interview preparation, that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to develop. We want to give people experiencing homelessness a way into long-term, progressive careers, ensuring they can re-gain stability without falling back into homelessness."

Thank you to our generous supporters.


Hi everyone ☺. So many many thanks! I learn more lots staff i learn about waiter and kitchen. You are the best Sarah and everyone from this group. Is one of experience in my life. Is the first time when I have something like this. Thank you for this experience in the restaurant. Is incredible !!!. I like very much. Anon