Unsung heroes

General Catering Manager

Christine Kent

 

What does your daily routine look like?

Usually I check-in to make sure all the staff are [here and] if not I have to book agency staff. Then I check if there any events on the day. If there are any food concerns then the Head Chef will handle that and not me but I am always available during lunch time to be an extra set of hands on the counter.

 

How would you describe your relationship with the students?

Quite a lot of the High School kids I’ve known since Grade 5 and so, with this consistency, I have gotten to know the kids. I would say my relationship with the kids has greatly improved although part of that is consistency.

 

What is a passion of yours outside of work?

I am a big rugby fan and so I do go to the rugby games with [Building Services and Maintenance Coordinator] Graham [Bracey] and [Facilities Manager] Kevin [Moffat]. I am a [London] Wasps fans, which is a shame as they just moved from London to Coventry. I’m also friends with [PE Teacher] Gwendolyn  [Williams] since she is also into sports.

 

What is something most people here don’t know about you?

One of things that I do throughout the year is I volunteer at Crisis [a national charity for single homeless people] which is something most people hear about during Christmas. During the year, they have a base in Hackney called Skylight and every Friday I try and leave work early and I teach a class to homeless people on how to sew. I know that sounds bizzare because if someone is homeless why would they want to sew? But, just because someone doesn’t have a permanent home [doesn’t mean they don’t need these skills], they may be living on someone’s sofa.

 

Do you enjoy cooking and food outside of work?

I love cooking and that is something I enjoy doing outside of work. Because I don’t have a family and I don’t have children living with me I don’t tend to cook a lot at home but if I have family or friends over, I love to host a dinner party. I would say Thai food is my favorite although I am a pescatarian. I’m a big fan of [Chef] Delia Smith – – I suppose Delia Smith is the English version of Barefoot Contessa. It would be roasted peppers and salmon as one of my favorite dishes.

 

 

 

Access Control Officer

Bhupendra Patel

 

How have you connected with the ASL community over the years?

Since 1999, I have seen every High School production and about 70 percent of all the Middle School productions. I try to go to most of the basketball games if I have a break. I also go to Canons Park to watch the International Scholastic Sports Tournament (ISSTs) when they are hosted in London.

 

What is your relationship with students?

Before I took over at Waverley [Place front desk] I did not know many students but now they say I am “the face of ASL.” I know probably 90 percent of the upperclassmen and they give me a yearbook each year and [the classes] of (’10), (’11), (’12), (’13), (’14) [have signed] my yearbook and become my friends on Facebook. If you are a student right now I can’t be friends on Facebook but most of the students in the class of 2014 I keep in touch [with].

 

What is an important part of your life outside of ASL?

Outside of ASL I regularly go to Hindu temple every Sunday for most of the day. My mother took me everyday to temple when I was a child. I go to a temple in India once a year to stay at a religious camp in Pundrag which is between Bombay and Delhi. It’s a retreat to come together as a religious community. We have seminars in London as well for people from the U.S. and India to come and I take 10 days off for this.

 

 

 

What do you and your co-workers do for fun?

I played cricket in [high] school and in college and I played for my company before I got to ASL. But, once I got to 40 I stuck to watching. The security team plays soccer in the blue gym every Wednesday but I watch. I don’t play as they are too rough and are all young army trained people whereas I am 60. We, the security [team], also go out somewhere once a month, normally bowling.

 

How much longer do you see yourself as part of this community?

I’ve got five years left and, after that if ASL still wants me here I [will] stay but if not I will retire. I’ll spend six months in winter in Mogri, India and then six months towards the summer in London. I have a sister in the [U.S.] and the rest of my family is here in London. I have lived in the U.K. for the past 45 years. I was born in Kenya and lived there [until] I was 8 and before I moved here I was in India.

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