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The Nest Coffee Shop

How could we involve our students more in the community we were asking ourselves? Then came the idea of opening a coffee shop which would benefit not only our students but the community too. Central would be a great location so we approached St John's Cathedral with the idea of having a coffee shop supported by our students within the Cathedral grounds. A formal presentation was made to the Cathedral Committee and our proposal was accepted - it was something which they would support. Further discussions ensued about where, when, what type of coffee shop etc. it should be. Following these discussions we made an application for funding to Operation Santa Claus and were successful – we were so happy as it meant our project could go ahead.

Then the hard work started. We had to start planning and students and staff became involved in a footfall survey within the Cathedral grounds to ascertain the number of persons passing by. This was to help us identify the type of customers we could target and also to help with staffing levels etc.

Along the way, The Nest has received lots of support from various companies in Hong Kong. For the structural design and planning we have to thank David Au from David S. K. Au and Associates Limited, George Ng of W. Hing Construction Co Ltd., Vincent Boender from Hypsos, St John's Cathedral and Jonathan Somerville, COO of Pacific Coffee. Clifford Chance has provided additional funding to assist with the cost of training for our staff and students and a training manual to monitor their progress. Pacific Coffee has been with us from the start, giving us advice when we needed it and also set up the training programme for our students within one of their stores. Uncle Russ has provided essential Barrista training to our students, and Speak has guided our students through a Customer Service training programme.

The Nest will provide a platform for those working there - students from The Nesbitt Centre and other NGOs/organisations - to increase involvement and inclusion within the workplace and the community together with the opportunity to:
•learn about work and the development of skills needed for employment
•be exposed to and learn about the various tasks within a food and beverage environment
•improve ones self esteem and image
•prove ones capabilities as a potentially valued employee
•learn pre-requisite work skills within a nurturing environment
•have time to learn at their own pace without too many pressures

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