As a way of confronting persistent feelings of isolation and anxiety Jeff challenged himself to join 55 Central’s Grow & Grind barista training program. He had spent years managing depression, was experiencing poor physical health and had recently been living in crisis accommodation. In joining a program that involved teamwork and customer service Jeff knew he was pushing himself out of his comfort zone.
Jeff attended every training session and built up a solid rapport with the program coordinator. He quickly learnt the skills involved in making a great coffee and running the van. With support from the team, a great work ethic and good humour, Jeff completed the Grow & Grind training and went on to obtain his barista certificate. He now confidently deals with customers and his team mates, even stepping up to the role of mentor and helping to train new baristas. Jeff was offered paid work as a Grow & Grind barista. He takes the van out himself and has successfully completed many solo events – a huge achievement of which Jeff is so proud.
Grow & Grind has given Jeff the opportunity to build up his confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose. Through his connection to Grow & Grind, Jeff has also built a network and received support to address some other issues that had been impacting his life. He is now in a great place to build on the improvements in health and wellbeing that he has made so far. Jeff is a great supporter of Grow & Grind, saying that the program has been therapeutic and has positively impacted his mental health.