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CASE STUDY: Change Please

LHF has recently agreed to continue funding the Change Please: Paid-Training and Employment Programme. In the first year of the project, they have supported 36 individuals through their various programmes, with 20 already moving on to further training, a secondment or a permanent job. We asked about one of their trainees.

Srija (not her real name) is a refugee, who was also fleeing domestic violence. She was living in a refuge when referred to Change Please.

Initially very shy and lacking confidence, Srija attended the three-day coffee workshop and progressed to the 12-week skills-builder programme. She was offered therapy by the support team, who also ensured Change Please were flexible in scheduling around her childcare commitments.

During the programme Srija worked with several of our coffee trainers. Initially she worked on quieter sites where the Trainers had time to help her with her coffee skills and ease her into the customer facing element of the role. Initial feedback was that she was motivated but needed more exposure to customer service and needed to work on coffee skills.

Over time as her confidence increased Srija progressed to busier sites. She became better at understanding customer orders and perfected espresso and latte art. There was always a Coffee Trainer present to look out for her and help her improve. On the final week the Trainer commented that she could now perform all tasks involved in being a barista with ease.

During the course Srija also attended three employability workshops facilitated by the Change Please Head of Social Value Relationships, Lee. The first was a CV writing workshop, where she was given one-to-one time with a volunteer with HR experience. The volunteer helped Srija to craft a high-quality barista CV. She then attended a ‘Preparing for Interview’ workshop, where she took part in a mock interview and learnt interview techniques. The final workshop was ‘Job Boards’ where volunteers spent time with her to help her search and apply for jobs that could suit her needs and skillset.

Lee spent countless hours building a relationship with the David Lloyd organisation and persuading them of the social value case for hiring Change Please graduates. He managed to secure Srija an interview for a role with David Lloyd that had the flexibility to suit her childcare needs.

Following a successful telephone interview, Lee was able to spend time helping Srija prepare for likely questions. He also called her on the way to the interview to put her at ease. He was also in constant contact with David Lloyd to advocate for her.

Srija was offered a barista role with David Lloyd. She is transformed from the person we initially met a few months ago. She is now confident and bubbly, looking forwards to a great career with David Lloyd!

Srija said about the Change Please course:

“I have gained the ability to interact with new people and provide brilliant customer service to them. As a person who is going through anxiety issues, this was the biggest achievement.”

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For more information about Change Please employment training programme please go to BARISTA TRAINING – Change Please

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