Impact — How Our Barista Training Works – Old Spike
Coffee training session with two people facing a coffee machine making espressos

Impact — How Our Barista Training Works

How Coffee Can Reduce Homelessness

It can be near impossible to get back into long-term employment if you’re an individual at risk of or experiencing homelessness. We’ll be highlighting how our course can support these individuals into long-term jobs and providing a detailed outline of our barista training programme from start to finish: from our charity referral partners to tasters days, barista training and development, work placements, and finally employment referrals. 

First things first, what is homelessness?

For many, it begins and ends with rough sleeping. This is the most extreme example of homelessness, but the definition is much broader.

Being homeless encompasses many forms and you can still be homeless with a roof over your head. Some other forms include: hidden homeless (staying in bnbs or on friends’ sofas), statutory homeless (in temporary accommodation), at risk of homelessness (people in poverty or unsecure housing) (Crisis, Shelter).

Woman writing on a piece of paper on a table with a red coffee cup in foreground

How our training programme helps

When individuals have been out of employment for a long period of time due to homelessness, confidence can drop and belief in abilities can falter. Yes, our programme provides barista training and coffee menu knowledge, but it’s also a platform to help those who are at risk or experiencing homelessness feel ready to get back into work, through CV development, support with employment and interview skills and a safe space to build confidence back.

Below you will find the outline of our training programme. For a more detailed look at how we're reducing homelessness through coffee, read our journal article here.

Coffee training workshop with two women and man in a Crisis charity coffee shop

Charity Referral

We work with a number of charity referral partners and charities to connect our programme with those at risk of or experiencing homelessness; including The Connection at St-Martins-in-the-Fields, Centrepoint, St Giles Trust, and Crisis. We work closely with case workers from charity partners to identify individuals that may benefit from our programme.   

Woman teaching specialty coffee brewing education on a whiteboard

Taster Days 

These are super important for our trainees and gives them an insight into what our barista course can offer and whether they would be interested in taking part. Individuals are invited to our roastery in Loughborough Junction to see for themselves where the programme will take place and will be given a tour of our training facility.⁠ ⁠ 

Person doing latte art in a beige cup

Barista Training

The fun stuff. Our programme teaches the fundamentals of the popular coffee menu, coffee processes, basic equipment maintenance; as well as CV development and work confidence. Our aim with the programme is to give trainees a solid foundation of coffee knowledge and work readiness to give them the best opportunity to move ahead to our work placement. 

Two women working in a coffee shop with their backs to the camera facing a coffee machine

⁠Work Placement

If our trainees are successful in completing our training, and we feel they would benefit from further experience, we then try to place them in one of our cafes locations and will pay them a London Living Wage during their placement. 

Baristas working in a coffee shop behind a coffee bar

Work Referral

Fundamentally, our key objective for our barista programme is to support trainees into long-term, sustainable employment. We collaborate with a number of cafes, restaurant and caterers to offer support and opportunities to achieve this goal where we can.⁠

Two hands holding a milk jug steaming milk for a coffee

Join Our Mission

If you know of anyone that would benefit from our barista training course, or if you are a charity and might want to join us as a referral partner, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email for more information.