It’s that time of year where I get to look back at all the amazing achievements of our trainees, Graduates and the team. I feel exceptionally lucky to work with such incredible partners. Thank you for being part of our journey.

Our year in numbers:

1.Training, accreditation and jobs

  • We have supported 116 trainees at our Academy in Tower Hamlets and our pop up Academy in Islington.
  • 116 trainees have accessed training from our one-day introduction to coffee course to our flagship 2 and 9 week SCA accredited programmes developing the most brilliant Baristas London has seen in decades.
  • 94% of our starters gained SCA accreditation
  • 72% of our Traineeship Graduates have moved into work, training or education
  • In total, we’ve supported 43 people into work, education or training, with many graduating just this month.
  • 60% of our trainees are from East London, 19% from North London and the remainder from all other parts of London and Greater London.
  • Our trainees have completed 1,333 hours of work experience across our employer network.

2. Some of their feedback

“I highly appreciated my time here at Well Grounded. You made an awesome difference! What you offer is such a gift and with you in it, it makes it even better. Thank you so much for your teaching, your guidance, your kindness, your open mindedness. You definitely have the ability to strengthen people in many ways. I can’t thank you enough for the experience.”

  • 100% said they learnt new essential skills during their Well Grounded training
  • 100% said they felt very much or much more prepared for employment after training
  • 100% said they reflected on their experiences every day or occasionally after training
  • 100% said training completely or very much met their expectations.

“Empowering. This program gave me the tools and abilities to get into work, which was so intimidating and seemed so difficult before.”

3. Our Graduates

We have:

  • Over 140 Graduates as part of our Alumni network, who’ve gained accreditation and are accessing our ongoing Graduate programme of events
  • Completed 215 hours of mentorship with these graduates over the last year
  • Run 16 Graduates events ranging from top-up training, industry events to socials.

Our Graduates are progressing in work and socially;

“I am domestic abuse survivor and before Well Grounded I had fled an abusive relationship and really was starting from scratch with everything. My life changed when I met Well Grounded. I was all on my own, had to flee to a women’s refuge and Well Grounded offered me a chance to find a family and a purpose. A reason to believe in myself.

Now I work at E5 Roasthouse in Poplar. I love it. I have learnt so much and now teach my fellow barista’s skills. Well Grounded means so much to me. It teaches trainees so much more than how to make coffee, it teaches us how to deal with customers, how to communicate with your team and embrace being part of the wider coffee community. When I joined Well Grounded I was really stressed and depressed, I was struggling to eat and my hair was falling out. After I graduated I saw the physical effects of my increased confidence, I gained weight and my hair started to grow back. It was amazing.  It changed me in so many ways…. Well Grounded gave me a community. It gave me exposure to people with different life experiences and we learnt so much from each other. I have taken the skill to talk to anyone regardless of how different they are… For me, Well Grounded gave me happiness. It was a place to reflect and help me to become a happier person.”

4. Community and the Industry

We have:

  • Spent over 325 hours with our network of over 50 Employers
  • Delivered 72 community events
  • Welcomed over 200 guests to our Pop Up events, where we showcase talent and achievements

Here’s what the industry has said:

“We employed our trainee straight away and she has been a great addition to the team and fitted in very well. She’s reliable and consistently one of the stronger performers and I’m really happy to have her on board. I feel the programme delivers excellent baristas who were knowledgeable and trained and there is always good support from the team.”

           Richard Robinson, Co-founder, Old Spike, Coal Rooms and Spike and Earl

Our business is built on hospitality and finding the right people is vital to that. We are very passionate about the coffee industry, and we think it’s a wonderful place to work – it’s full of diversity and teaches us a huge amount of transferable skills. However, London is a tough place to find work and sadly the rapid pace of most businesses make it difficult for us to take a chance on people without any experience at all. Working with Well Grounded is fantastic because they bridge that gap by getting their graduates ready to join our team.

Moonhee is awesome, she has quickly become a core member of our team, split between our Coffee Bar and our Roastery; both challenging fast-paced roles where coffee knowledge is essential. Moonhee’s diligence and work ethic are impeccable, but what really stands out is her enthusiasm and positive attitude. I can’t thank Well Grounded enough for helping Moonhee find her feet in London, and introducing her to us at Ozone.”

           Ben Chaplin, Wholesale General Manager, Ozone Coffee Roasters

5. Recognition for our work

6. In other news

But our success and achievements are much more than numbers. Starting the year as a team of 3 we welcomed Emma into Well Grounded in July as our Project & Progressions Coordinator. Together we have:

  • Re-designed our Theory of Change to reflect the impact we want to have on society and reviewed how we measure our impact
  • All received training in supporting those with special educational needs
  • Quality assured our curriculum so that it reflects best practice in education and coffee training
  • Continued to strengthen and build our networks in the industry, government and the community with some incredible partners becoming close friends
  • We’re lucky enough to have received funds from The Fore, TrustHouse Foundation, East London Community Foundation, Red Nose Day and Prudential
  • We’ve continued to work with WorkPath in Tower Hamlets to deliver employment outcomes for their residents
  • Our partnership with Poplar Harca has gone from strength to strength in supporting local people into local jobs.

On a personal note, I feel privileged to have worked with such incredible trainees, Graduates, partners, employers and funders all striving for our vision of a society where people are thriving socially and economically in a diverse and nurturing coffee community. One of our Graduates said, I have felt accepted and nurtured in a unique and special way.” I launched Well Grounded to provide this opportunity to others, I never thought that I would be a beneficiary of such kindness and support myself. Thank you from me and the team at Well Grounded. See you in 2019.