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King's Lynn man revitalised with new coffee van role through East Anglian charity



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Despondent and faced with a series of job setbacks, a 21-year-old from Lynn has now been vitalised by a new role as a barista.

Jack Nicholls has been given an opportunity through a new mobile coffee van business, launched by the charity Break in September.

Joe Walden, enterprise and youth development lead from Break first met a despondent Jack in a Lynn McDonald’s in January.

Jack Nicholls and Joe Walden from the charity Break at the coffee van. Picture: SUBMITTED
Jack Nicholls and Joe Walden from the charity Break at the coffee van. Picture: SUBMITTED

Mr Walden said: “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.

“After some gentle persuasion and encouragement, Jack soon got stuck in with the Coffee Break project.”

Jack Nicholls and Joe Walden from the charity Break at the coffee van. Picture: SUBMITTED
Jack Nicholls and Joe Walden from the charity Break at the coffee van. Picture: SUBMITTED

The 21-year-old was tasked with researching and sourcing a point of sale supplier for the van, something that his fellow baristas would find easy to use.

“That was it. The spark was lit,” Mr Walden said. “And from that point on, he threw himself into the opportunity.”

From attending business meetings, to managing relationships with suppliers, Jack’s confidence has soared.

The Coffee Break project supports young people who have either recently left or are about to leave the care system and live independently for the first time.

It aims to boost their confidence and help them secure paid employment.

The mobile coffee van is currently based in Norwich two days a week, serving hot and cold drinks, sweet and savoury snacks.

The Coffee Break van is planning its first day of trade in Fairstead at a car boot sale at Centre Point tomorrow.

Jack said: “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.

“It feels great to earn my own money and make new relationships. I feel accomplished and a lot more confident now.”

After living in care for most of his teenage years, the 21-year-old moved to his own flat in 2017 and has received ongoing support from Break.

If you’d like to hire the van for your organisation, contact coffee@break-charity.org.



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