Jack Nicholls brews his own coffee break

26 Oct 2020

One of our young care leavers has grasped the chance to learn new skills and launch a business with us, all during a global pandemic!

Jack Nicholls, 21 from King’s Lynn has been instrumental in launching and running our new Coffee Break project. Run through our Staying Close, Staying Connected service, it’s all part of our aim to be there for young care leavers for as long as they need us. 

Joe Walden, our Enterprise and Youth Development Lead first met a despondent back in January this year. After a series of job setbacks, Jack felt his chances of finding work were slim. But meet him today and it is a very different story. Jack is bursting with enthusiasm about going to work, equipped with new skills, confidence, and a sense of purpose.

Joe explains; “Jack was staying at home a lot and thought looking for work was pointless after some bad experiences. He had been let go by a couple of employers and faced a lack of understanding and empathy from colleagues.  But I knew he had so much to offer and a lot of untapped potential. He needed one positive experience of the working world to ignite a spark and show what he was capable of.

“After some gentle persuasion and encouragement, Jack soon got stuck in with the Coffee Break project.  He was tasked with researching and sourcing our point of sale supplier for the van, something that his fellow baristas would find easy to use. That was it. The spark was lit. And from that point on, he threw himself into the opportunity.”

Jack explains “When I first met Joe, I wasn’t in a very good place.  I’d had a couple of jobs, but didn’t get treated very well, and ended up getting fired. Getting a job was really stressful, and I’d given up looking for work after the bad experiences I’d had.  Now I’m in a better place. I love being involved in the Coffee Break project because no-one judges you and there’s time for everyone to develop at their own pace.  I love meeting people, going out to new places and finding new spots for us to park up and serve coffees.  It feels great to earn my own money and make new relationships. I feel accomplished and lot more confident now.”

Joe has seen Jack flourish and transform into a confident young adult. “When we first met, he was very low and feeling hopeless about his job chances. Meet Jack today, and he is bursting with enthusiasm, pride and wants to find new work. He is currently applying for jobs to supplement his part-time role at the coffee van and is planning a camping trip in his social life too. From attending business meetings, to managing relationships with suppliers, Jack’s confidence has soared. Add to that, he makes a great cup of coffee but is not so keen on the cleaning up!”

Break fills a vitally important gap, providing a circle of support when young care leavers have no-one to lean on. Jack is a shining example of how our Staying Close, Staying Connected services can turn things around and create a brighter future for young care leavers as they progress to adulthood.

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