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Nescot’s Head Chef is running the London Marathon in April to raise money for Mencap, after being inspired by students at the college.

Prakashingh Ramloll, known to students and staff as Dee, is aiming to raise £2,500 for the charity, which supports people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Dee chose to support Mencap because of his experiences working with Nescot students with additional needs, including three students doing placements with Dee in Nescot’s kitchens.

“The students are a joy to work with, and I hope as a mentor I am able to teach them, to support them, and maybe even to inspire them a little bit,” Dee said.

“Our students are reliable, honest, hard-working, and they really care about learning, and doing the best that they can every day.

“The truth is that the students inspire me, and I am learning just as much as they are. It is enabling our whole team to see life in a different way, and that is why I want to raise money for Mencap.”

Dee works for Aramark, the company which runs Nescot’s on-site catering provision, which includes the main refectory and shop as well as the college Starbucks.

Aramark have taken on two students on supported internships, and one Foundation Learning student and four Catering students on work placements.

The students’ roles range from food preparation to serving customers, depending on their levels of experience and confidence, as well as their interests and future career plans.

Dee has worked as a pastry chef and sous chef at hotels and five-star restaurants across London, and his last role was at Lords Cricket Ground.

He has never run a marathon before, but he is an experienced long-distance runner and works out in Nescot’s gym five times a week.

He is currently working from a 16-week training plan, and he is hoping to run the marathon in less than four hours.

“I’m excited about it – people always talk about what an amazing experience London Marathon is, and how brilliant the atmosphere is,” Dee said.

“There will definitely be hard moments, but I will be focussing on Mencap, and reminding myself why I’m running.”

You can sponsor Dee online by visiting his fundraising page online here. There will also be the opportunity to donate at college.

Mencap is a charity for people with learning disabilities and their families. It provides a range of services, from helping people to find jobs to arranging peer groups. You can read more online here.