Clarnico Club and the SEND Coffee Programme

Located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Clarnico Club opened its doors this past October. Named after the Clarnico confectionery company that once operated in the area, Clarnico Club is a multipurpose space – a speciality coffee shop and an events space but, first and foremost, a training site for SEND coffee.

SEND coffee is a social enterprise that trains young adults with special educational needs and disabilities to be speciality baristas. Over the course of 36 weeks, learners work 1:1 with their mentors, who are also experienced baristas, to learn about everything from independent travelling and making small talk with customers, right up to pouring latte art and V60 brewing. This training programme operates as a course offered by Newham College, allowing learners to choose this hands-on, practically-based course as an alternative to their classroom-based lessons.

“We don’t just want our learners to be good baristas. We want them to be amazing, with all the skills, knowledge and expertise to excel at what they do and help them overcome the prejudices they face,” says SEND coffee founder, Harry Graham. “Clarnico Club is so important for us as a site as it completely challenges the idea of what a shop operated by non-profit looks and feels like.”

After their year of training, the SEND coffee graduates are supported by Head of Alumni, Dominique Spencer, to find jobs in coffee shops across London. Dominique supports them with CV writing and practice interviews as well as after they have found jobs.

“As Clarnico Club has only been operating for the past few months, it really has been a learning curve for everyone on the team as we all try to find our way through,” says Elizabeth Brockman, owner of Clarnico Club. “Throughout this time, our SEND training mentors Monica Barnard and Ty Jemmi have been working with three learners each. Even in such little time, it’s been amazing to see how much progress has been made by the learners as they have become comfortable in the space and get more and more comfortable with talking to customers and essential coffee training. Exposure to this kind of environment is something that you just can’t replicate in a classroom.”

To find out more about the SEND coffee programme, head to www.sendcoffee.co.uk or pop into Clarnico Club to meet the team.

Clarnico Club
1 Tandy Place, Hackney, E20 3AS