Well Grounded, London’s first social enterprise to focus on developing highly skilled talent for the Specialty Coffee industry, has opened an academy based in King’s Cross this October.

Well Grounded offers fully funded training to individuals who have faced barriers to employment. Their programmes combine coffee training with employment development to nurture individuals ready for work in London’s booming specialty coffee industry. Upon completion of a Well Grounded programme, the team supports graduates into work by finding them positions in local specialty cafes, branded specialty coffee chains, or contract caterers. As of September 2019, Well Grounded has moved 152 graduates into work, education, or further training.[1]

With the launch of the King’s Cross Academy, Well Grounded aims to support 1,000 people into work over the next three years.

“Coffee is booming in the UK” says Eve Wagg, CEO and Founder of Well Grounded, “and we know that with that comes a huge demand for talent. We are thrilled to be working in King’s Cross to link people looking for work with careers in an industry right on their doorstep. Working with a range of over 120 employers, we are able to provide real work opportunities for hundreds of local people and have a lasting impact on the community.”

As Well Grounded grows, the number of graduates who have found fulfilling work opportunities does as well. Many of the organisation’s Graduates can now be found working as Team Supervisors, Roasters, and Head Baristas, and several of their more recent graduates aspire to similar heights. The King’s Cross Academy also acts as a local community hub connecting employers, local people and community partners. It will run private training, team building days and has a co-working space, all to ensure the social enterprise can continue to provide programmes for social benefit.

Lorna, a mother of four and grandmother of three, is one of Well Grounded’s graduates with big dreams. When one of her daughters was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, Lorna took on the responsibility of caring for her and her daughter’s child for a number of years. When her daughter passed away, Lorna struggled to cope.

“My confidence went down to zero. It changed everything about who I was and I had no energy and did not want to leave my house. Then one day, by chance, I saw a poster for Well Grounded and I thought what have I got to lose,” she said.

On completion of the Well Grounded programme Lorna was offered full time work as a Barista with contract caterer, Gather & Gather, and has been working there ever since.

“I have been on a journey with Well Grounded,” she said. “ All my trainee team members have become my friends and I am so proud of them all. I want to work hard to become a Head Barista. I can’t wait to move forward with Well Grounded.”

If you are interested in training at the Well Grounded Academy or would like to access private training or co-working space visit www.wellgroundedjobs.co.uk or contact Sonja Wittenberg sonja@wellgroundedjobs.co.uk.

[1]  Social impact data, 2019 (Well Grounded backgrounder)