Inspire and educate
Commando Chef, CSGT Mike Beaton MBE of the Royal Marines Educational Awareness Team works in partnership with the Kent and Medway VRU. Commando Chef comes to events organised by the VRU a few times a year to “Inspire and Educate”.
Commando Chef’s key messages included, diversion from crime, the importance of education, food and nutrition, manners, discipline, dangers of weapons on the streets, “a knife is for the kitchen not the streets” and advice on career paths.
This includes a demonstration, question and answer opportunity and also smaller targeted hands on approach for young people to cook themselves and get them all eating a healthy well balanced meal.
"It was a pleasure working with Mike and Tom for the 3 days they spoke with almost 1000 students across Kent and Medway. They were impactive, informative, motivating and understood each and every individual, they spoke to officers in briefings, students in Pupil referral units, mainstream schools and the Volunteer Police Cadets taking their "BOOM" with them everywhere they went."
"Thank you so much for inviting Aspire's students to meet the Commando Chef. I must say they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The Commando Chef engaged the students from the off which was so great to see, they can be quite a hard crowd to please! His talks on life as a Marine Commando was interesting and the way he talked the students through what being a trainee Marine entails left no stone unturned and has motivated some of Aspire's students to look further into it! The cooking demonstration was also brilliant and saw the students working together as teams and producing their own dishes from scratch. Amazing."
"We have always worked closely with the VRU, supporting our pupils in preventing and addressing serious youth violence in our local community. The opportunity to have a workshop with Commando Chef was immediately acted upon. Our pupils really engaged with Commando chef and team. Expectations were clearly set out at the beginning of the session and pupils worked within the boundaries, following instructions, listening and acting upon advice. Commando chef demonstrated the preparation and cooking of a quick, easy and healthy meal and then the pupils were given the opportunity to do it for themselves all together in the hall. In total there were 32 pupils, supported by staff, all working well together. Throughout the cooking workshop the commando gave clear messages about knives being for the kitchen not for the streets, he interacted effectively with the pupils and they responded well to him. At the end of the session, pupils ate the food they had made and listened to a serving marine explain about his job and kit. There was an opportunity for a Q&A session and then commando chef concluded the session."
"The pupils spoke really positively about the session, one pupil said, “I really enjoyed cooking with everyone all together, it felt like one big team”, another said, “He was really interesting talking about all the places he had visited around the world, I am going to look into joining the marines”. All the staff were impressed that he could keep all 32 pupils engaged and on-task for over an hour together, that he trusted them with large cooking knives and gas and that the pupils showed complete respect to Commando chef and his team. Commando also personally responded to a tweet from a pupil who had mentioned how much he had loved the session and trying the marine kit on. This personal touch is so important in inspiring our young people and supporting their aspirations. We would love to have more role models like this in school."