The Power of Coffee

As you might have guessed, we’re pretty keen on coffee here at Well Grounded. On #InternationalCoffeeDay we’re celebrating the power of coffee to transform lives.  

Coffee is diverse and means something different to all of us.  For some it’s taken milky with sugar, for others it’s straight up black. Regardless of how you drink yours, we believe coffee has the power to bring people together. It’s long chats with friends over a cappuccino or supporting coffee farmers all the way in Ethiopia with the beans you choose to purchase. The many ways in which coffee creates a community is where its power lies. At Well Grounded we are focused on three areas when it comes to coffee and its impact: the individual, the industry and the community.

In this series of blog posts, we will focus on each of these and explore how we use coffee as our tool, to transform an individual, benefit the coffee industry and create a sense of community. For this week’s blog, we’ll be looking at the work we do with the individual and the ability of coffee to help develop and nurture.

Well Grounded training develops a specific set of strengths, which combine both technical and soft skills in order to ensure individuals are technically equipped for the world of coffee, but also feel confident, work ready and resilient. Every individual we work with is different, which means we do not have a ‘one size fits all’ training programme.  

The individuals we work with benefit from our programmes in a number of ways. Firstly, coffee is used as a tool to gain a job in a sustainable industry that offers a huge potential to grow.  Many of our trainees have been out of work for a while and as a result, may have lost confidence in their skill set. Our training programmes offer them a chance to acquire a new set of skills that allow them to become specialists and experts in coffee with the ability to demonstrate this to others.

Secondly, our trainees develop other life skills alongside technical training, such as confidence, resilience and self-awareness. Our programmes involve one-to-one mentoring which involves working closely with individuals to ensure they feel supported and nurtured throughout their coffee journey. Alongside this, we focus on the key skills required for a barista, as specified by the Specialty Coffee Association which can be more widely applied to a job within hospitality, ensuring our trainees graduate with the essential skills to thrive within a job role.

A large part of what the individual gains from a Well Grounded programme are the friendships and connections created with other trainees. Over 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are always or often lonely (British Red Cross and Co-Op, 2016). Our programmes offer the opportunity for individuals to meet other trainees from all walks of life, bonding over their coffee and life experiences and feeling part of a community. We’ve proved through our evaluation that forming connections and becoming part of the Well Grounded family helps lower anxiety and the feeling of loneliness which in turn has a positive impact on wellbeing.

The best way to really highlight the experience of the individual and how training has impacted them is through our trainees themselves:

“Thank you for your continued support… A few weeks ago, I had no confidence whatsoever, I was having frequent panic attacks, rarely spoke, couldn’t leave the house and truly believed that my disorder was taking over. But, you know what, I haven’t had a single attack since I started the training, I’ve left the house, I’ve regained some control and feel comfortable around people again. This is the best month I’ve had for a ridiculously long time.” – Well Grounded graduate from October 2017

“It was definitely one of the top and most memorable experiences in my life, it’s definitely changed the direction of my life in a truly incredible way.” – Well Grounded graduate from February 2018

“It has been a wonderful experience. Learned a lot about coffee, but also a lot about myself.  The team (WG) is very supportive and I feel like I have got all the support I needed from the day I began on the course. I can’t imagine where I would have been without the course.” – Well Grounded graduate from August 2017

The training we provide aims to build individuals up, teaching them skills that enable them to feel empowered, socially and financially. Many of them arrive with no coffee experience at all and leave with globally recognised accreditations, a sense of achievement, the opportunity to find work within a supportive and encouraging industry and new connections and friends. We think this is a lot to celebrate on #InternationalCoffeeDay.

Written by Sareeka Linton, Marketing & Content Officer. Published 1st October 2018