It’s 5am. It’s dark and I’m barely awake. I walk into Calderwood House to the smell of fresh coffee where I’m met by Dean. Dean has been a resident at Calderwood House, Egremont for almost two months. Already, the Time to Change project at Calderwood House has helped scores of local people who have found themselves homeless back into housing and employment. Over coffee, I am here to find out more about Dean and how he is turning his life around through the unique opportunities open to him at Calderwood House.
I am offered a coffee which I gladly accept. Dean prepares the coffee using a unique blend of Arabica produced exclusively for Calderwood House by a local blender Rinaldo’s Specialty Coffee and Tea. Even at 5am in the morning I can see the care and attention that goes into making the perfect cup as Dean explains,
“I’ve been making coffee from the Calderwood coffee van for almost two months now. It’s growing in popularity with local customers. It’s such a great product and all of the profits go straight back into supporting the work Calderwood House do so it’s a big motivation to get me up and out early…”
The coffee tastes great and the extra shot which Dean has slipped in there is greatly appreciated. I’m impressed at how well made the coffee is, so it is a surprise to learn that Dean has only been training for a couple of months,
“I knew nothing about coffee making or being a Barista or anything like that before I came to Calderwood House. I have learnt so many new skills that I can take with me when I leave. I have also proven to myself that I am ready to go back in to work in spite of my own personal difficulties and it’s greatly increased my confidence level.”
As I peer into the van past a range of snacks, drawn ever deeper inside by the smell of freshly ground coffee beans, I notice how spotlessly clean the Calderwood House coffee van is,
I feel a real sense of responsibility and it is also nice to meet so many new people. I have been able to get involved on the commercial side, you know like looking for new ways to increase revenue and I’m always looking for additional sites for our van to introduce our coffee to new customers.”
Volunteering for this community project has helped me rebuild myself and my confidence in myself as well being able to give something back to the community.”
Asked about the future for Calderwood’s coffee van project Dean jokes, “my aim is to establish a whole fleet of vans across Cumbria I don’t want anyone to miss out on our coffee!
Article produced for time to change, Calderwood House by resident Leigh Johnson.