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Be Strong Part 2: Strong People. Strength in numbers

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We know coffee has the power to change things.

Just 200 meters from our roastery, the impact Empire Fighting Chance has on our community is incredible.

A staggering 90% of the young people they work with have progressed into employment, training or further education and 78% are no longer committing crime and anti-social behaviour. Their ethos is about empowering young people to have higher aspirations and turn their lives around.

Extract is a business built around sharing knowledge and passion. We’re a unique collection of makers, each with their own story. Some of us university educated, most of us have learned as we’ve gone.

In March 2019, we ran our first careers day with Empire Fighting Chance as part of their enrichment and engagement programme. This summer, we ran our first barista training programme with some of the young people supported by Empire Fighting Chance.

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Dan Lacey, South West Regional Manager, Extract Coffee Roasters & Sharon Edwards from Empire Fighting Chance visiting schools with Works Bristol as part of an early careers programme aimed at helping young people consider a wide variety of careers options.

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Our team of runners raising money for Empire Fighting Chance by taking part in the 2019 Bristol Half Marathon and Empire Fighting Chance’s £100 in 100 Days Challenge.

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Extract’s Wes Thompson raised money for Empire Fighting Chance by taking part in the 2019 Brighton Marathon and 2018 Bristol Half Marathon.

Rolling with the punches

As part of our partnership with Empire Fighting Chance we’ve had the opportunity to push our own limits. Whether it’s running a marathon to help raise funds or taking part in an insanely tough box fit session with one of their coaches, we’ve learned a lot about what an impact strength in numbers has to help make a difference in someone’s life.

We’re all vulnerable at some point in our lives, and having a strong community around helps to roll with the punches.

As part of the Strong Man, Strong Woman winter espresso launch this year, some of us were put through our paces with a special Empire Fighting Chance boxfit lesson right here in the Roastery.

I’ll be honest - it was tough.

Luckily, our coach Matt was a force of energy encouraging us and keeping our strength up to the bitter (and sweaty) end. It was also inspiring to see how much we encourage one another as a team.

Photography by Elise Snary

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Photography by Elise Snary

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Photography by Elise Snary

The power of boxing: Transforming young lives

Empire Fighting Chance enables young people to fulfil their broader potential by raising aspiration and self confidence to make better and informed life choices, staying clear of crime and violence to progress in education and employment. That’s real strength.

“To me, being strong isn’t about your physical capability or whether you succeed or fail. Strength comes from a determination to keep going, a persistence to achieve your goals, and the resilience to make mistakes, learn and keep going.

Many of the young people we meet have experienced or witnessed terrible trauma, violence or discrimination. Yet, they are by far the strongest people we know, they return to the gym each week, improve their health, and transform their lives.”

Martin Bisp, CEO of Empire Fighting Chance

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COO Jamie Sanigar (left) and CEO Martin Bisp (right) with Empire Fighting Chance Ambassador Alex Beresford (middle)

We know coffee fuels people

Amazing coffee is the best vehicle we know to start a conversation, something that can light a fire of interest. Coffee fuels our conversations with incredible people. People that are part of our communities and at the end of the day, the most purposeful thing we do is work with our communities. Whether that’s working with our farmers across the globe to help improve the conditions of their local community or simply supporting the power of coffee in connecting people closer to home.

Read Part One here

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