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Well Grounded A Speciality Coffee Training Academy, changing lives

Well Grounded have already supported 93 people into work through their training academy in Tower Hamlets, transforming trainees’ financial situations as well as their emotional and personal well-being. With support from the Badur Foundation, Well Grounded are launching a second academy in Kings Cross, where they will offer training programmes to local people in a new area of high deprivation.

Established in 2016, Well Grounded is a social enterprise and speciality coffee training academy connecting people most disconnected from the labour market with sustainable careers in the coffee industry. Trainees include the long-term unemployed, refugees and asylum seekers, people with mental health challenges and NEETs (young people not in education, employment or training).

Well Grounded offer a 2-week and 9-week work-readiness training course. Both lead to a Speciality Coffee Accreditation and employment opportunities, but the 9-week course offers additional wraparound support and work experience for those who need it. Through the delivery of ongoing employment support and mentoring days, Well Grounded continue to support their graduates to grow into new roles such as Head Baristas, Roasters and Coffee Traders. They also support beneficiaries into further training and roles outside the industry. Well Grounded aim to transition Graduates into the right training and employment solutions both within and outside coffee.

The launch of their second academy in Kings Cross will increase Well Grounded’s social impact, as well as allowing them to grow new income streams in order to build a sustainable business model. The new academy will also enable them to offer higher level training for Graduates, aiming to lift people out of ‘in work’ poverty, as well as to roll out training programmes and facilities for the wider coffee community and public. The team aim to design a replicable model that can be implemented across the UK in cities with high levels of unemployment.

“I have a Moderate Learning Disability on the Autistic Spectrum and have struggled to find employment ...Then Well Grounded came along, believed in me and gave me the opportunity to succeed. I really enjoyed my time learning more about how to make coffee, where it comes from, and different coffee tasting notes. I love my job as a Barista. It’s given me the platform to achieve my targets. I am in this for the long-term.” Zak Osman, Barista since 2016 at The Shard.