Refugees set to see their careers get off the ground at Trampoline

Angel cafe offers employment and training in the hospitality sector

Friday, 25th February — By Zakaria Taibi

Trampoline new 2

From left: Antonio Orria, Melaku, Lydia and Pranav Chopra at Trampoline

A NEW cafe aiming to give refugees a chance to get on their feet through employment and training in the hospitality sector has opened its doors.

Trampoline, in Camden Passage, Angel, said it wanted to do more than train people on how to make and serve coffees.

It will have three main partners: Groundwork London; the Hotel School, which will offer a hospitality training programme to staff; and Thomas Franks, a catering company where refugees are guaranteed a job at the end of their six to nine months’ employment at Trampoline.

Pranav Chopra, its founder, told the Tribune: “Trampoline Cafe will not just be training refugees as baristas, we’re training them to be hospitality professionals.

“This distinction is very important because as hospitality professionals they can become managers of a Leon store, for example.”

He added: “Our training programme is very different because we can guarantee employment after they work for us.”

One of the staff who will have the opportunity to go through this training is Lydia, from Eritrea, who lost her job as a housekeeper during the Covid pandemic.

“I’m excited to start, everyone here is friendly,” she said. “I have a dream I want to come true which is to own my own coffee shop or restaurant.”

Speaking on the struggles to find employment as a refugee, Lydia added: “It’s not easy to find a job, so this place is good. At the beginning it’s very hard, you don’t know the language, you don’t know people, it’s not easy.”

Alongside Lydia, customers will be greeted by coffee connoisseur Antonio Orria who has worked in the speciality coffee industry for eight years in London.

He said: “I found that it was becoming a little bit snobby and a little bit elitist. So when this idea came along, I thought it was a brilliant opportunity to widen the horizon of the specialty coffee industry. My focus has always been on training.

“I’ve always found incredible feedback from people who are not exposed to specialty coffee so I always found it inspiring.”

Trampoline currently employs three refugees, but the target is to train and employ six within the first year of opening.

If successful, Mr Pranav also aims to open 14 sites across the UK.

The cafe’s current opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 8am to 4pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5pm.

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