Volunteering towards employment. Jay’s journey, served with coffee.

The Step Up project supports people who have experienced mental ill-health to access volunteering as part of their mental health recovery and personal journey towards employment. Jay is one of Step Up’s long standing participants who has been building his self-confidence through volunteering locally at St Joseph’s Hospice. As a born and bred Hackney local


The Step Up project supports people who have experienced mental ill-health to access volunteering as part of their mental health recovery and personal journey towards employment.

Jay is one of Step Up’s long standing participants who has been building his self-confidence through volunteering locally at St Joseph’s Hospice. As a born and bred Hackney local he has a natural sense of community and this aspect of volunteering has led him to feel like being able to get back into work. After offering to provide tea and coffee at a summer fete at St Joseph’s he had the idea of maybe starting his own business.

Jay has always been keen to give back and work in this area he grew up in his grandfather was the caretaker of St John of Jerusalem opposite.

Working with VCH’s Step Up Employment Advisor, Ian Jordan, he had the idea of selling his tasty beverages to local businesses and charities. The business is at the early stages of development but as a start, we invited him to be part of our Step Up’s monthly coffee morning at Our Place (https://bit.ly/2MwxY0u). where he could test his business idea.

We asked him about his amazing journey and here’s what he said…

How long have you been involved with VCH?

I’ve been involved with VCH for around 2 years in lots of different projects but this is the first morning I’ve supplied the coffee here on the New Kingshold Estate.

How has VCH helped you?

I’ve been getting a lot of support from VCH…they’ve linked me up with a life coach which has been really helpful and they’ve really supported me in getting the coffee business off the ground, helped me rewire my way of thinking which has been so useful.

Do you feel more connected to the community?

I do. I used to live here and now moved away so it’s nice to come back… I currently volunteer at the hospice and in sheltered accommodation and it’s really been self-esteem building.

What’s been the most beneficial activity VCH have done?

My 12-week wellbeing course on Dalston Lane was amazing…programmes like that are great. I can’t speak highly enough of VCH to be honest. The staff are incredible…I really feel comfortable there. This is a great step towards Jay’s goals and we look forward to seeing it develop in the future and maybe if you’re out and about could try his top notch teas and coffees.

If you have experienced mental ill health, and are interested in volunteering, get in touch with Chris, Step Up Project Manager and find out how we can support you (https://bit.ly/31e3GD5).

Joseph’s he had the idea of maybe starting his own business.

Jay is one of Step Up’s long standing participants who has been building his self-confidence through volunteering locally at St Joseph’s Hospice. As a born and bred Hackney local he has a natural sense of community and this aspect of volunteering has led him to feel like being able to get back into work. After offering to provide tea and coffee at a summer fete at St Joseph’s he had the idea of maybe starting his own business.