What we've been up to:

Said moved on from Switchback in December. Upon his release, he had no experience of the catering industry, and certainly had never made an espresso before! However, Said had a positive attitude and got stuck into his shifts at our partner training café, determined to learn as much as he could. He quickly became a popular member of the team, and it wasn’t long before they noticed his amazing talent for coffee making.

Said’s Switchback Mentor believed in him and encouraged him to take his skills further and get a formal barista qualification, she also supported him with the practical things he needed to make employment sustainable, like opening a bank account and setting up benefits – something which is a common and complex barrier for young men leaving prison.

With his confidence in himself growing, Said sent a speculative application to a coffee shop with a social mission and was invited for an interview. After a second interview with the manager, he was offered a full-time role!

In the space of just three months, Said completed all his shifts in our partner training café, took up every opportunity that Switchback had to offer, gained himself a barista qualification AND employment. He is now working at a coffee shop he loves, smiling as he makes the perfect flat white and serves customers.

"Switchback took me on an employer visit to a coffee shop and I just knew I wanted to work there. Seeing how the shop worked first hand and meeting the staff gave me a lot of confidence that it was the right place for me. I never thought I’d be a barista, but now I'm doing it and I love it!"