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Gather & Gather and Well Grounded celebrate second alumni of baristas

Ten freshly-trained baristas have graduated from the Well Grounded Barista Training Academy, held at Gather & Gather’s site in the iconic Shard.

This is the second cohort of trainees to successfully complete the scheme in partnership with Gather & Gather and all 10 graduates have gone on to secure paid employment with Gather & Gather.

The graduation ceremony celebrated past and present graduates of the scheme including a showcase of barista skills. The event marked the end of an eight-week work readiness programme which saw them gain Specialty Coffee Association accreditation while developing the skills to thrive in a dynamic hospitality environment.

Gather & Gather first partnered with Well Grounded 18 months ago to support and source future talent in the coffee industry. The success of the programme is evident in the journeys of last year’s graduates. Five remain with Gather & Gather as professional baristas whilst three have continued their coffee journey with other brands.

Based in East-London, Well Grounded is the UK’s first social enterprise to focus solely on developing talent within the Speciality Coffee industry. The enterprise helps Londoners by linking people facing social and economic disadvantage with the skills they need to access roles as Professional Baristas.

Allister Richards, Managing Director of Gather & Gather, said, “Working with Well Grounded has been fundamental in finding the future talent that will drive the success of our business. The exceptional training and support that the scheme offers is incredibly valuable, to its graduates, employers and ultimately, the Speciality Coffee industry.”

Sonja Wittenberg, Managing Director of Well-Grounded, said, 'We are delighted to celebrate the graduation of our newest baristas thanks to our partnership with Gather & Gather. Together with Gather & Gather we are achieving real social impact by providing a structured path for Well Grounded trainees to transition into work.

'There are many opportunities for our beneficiaries to gain experience and skills across a host of exciting Gather & Gather sites, including Olympia Exhibition Centre where Gather & Gather is donating 10p per cup of coffee sales to Well Grounded, a project we are expanding together this year.'