Whitbread

Please wait, site loading...

Our Stories

CREATIVE FUNDRAISING AND AN ENLIGHTENING VISIT TO VIETNAM.

Costa Foundation Fundraiser of the Year 2012/13

John Crossley. Store Manager. Costa Tewkesbury

On a cold autumn day in October 2011, after a very successful summer fundraising campaign, the Trustees of the Costa Foundation passed the plans to build a third nursery school in Vietnam.

Education for the children of coffee growers

Fast forward to Wednesday 8th November 2012 with bright sunshine and 30 degrees heat. Hoa Dong Nursery School in the Krong Pak region of Vietnam opened with much excitement from the local community. Costa store manager John Crossley from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire was on hand to cut the ribbon and hand the school over to the care of the headmistress and members of the local people's council. This is the Costa Foundation's 29th school in just over six years and once again, it is supporting the needs of coffee growers struggling to gain access to education for their children.

Voted Fundraiser of the Year

John was voted Fundraiser of the Year by his 1200 colleagues at the national Autumn Business Update in September 2012. The fourth store manager to be selected for this annual award, he follows three others who have succeeded in a process of nomination and shortlisting, followed by a vote from their own peer group. Truly the people’s choice.

Marathon bike ride

Having spent the summer inspiring his team, customers and fellow managers in the Gloucestershire area to raise money for the Foundation in creative and inventive ways, he went a step further, raising awareness of the charity throughout the region. His marathon bike ride visiting every store in the area caught the imagination of the local press and went on to create high levels of public interest in how the Costa Foundation has been able to help coffee growers.

Learning the national language to access education

Whilst in Vietnam John used the opportunity to get to know the children who were learning Vietnamese, helping the youngsters with some cutting and sticking. The school has five classrooms of children, all equipped to take up to forty in each classroom.

The children come from a community with a local ethnic minority background, now mainly coffee farmers producing high quality Robusta coffee beans. At school they range from 3 to 6 years and this nursery school will now enable them to gain access to the state run primary and secondary schools by teaching using the national language rather than local dialect.

Bright, excited children

The opening ceremony at Hoa Dong was only part of John's visit. He visited two other schools built during 2011 to check on progress, and a new site was explored for future potential. John found the schools in Ea' tar and Cud' li Mnong full of bright, excited children who were developing thanks to the fantastic support of their teachers.

Small, family-run coffee farms

The countryside on the way to these small village communities is full of small, family-run coffee farms. Most homes had coffee drying in the sunshine outside demonstrating how vital this crop is for the livelihood of the people supported by the Costa Foundation.

Hard work

During the afternoon visit to the schools, John stopped off to visit a farmer and his team picking coffee cherries. "It's amazing to think that some of those beans could make their way into our Mocha Italia blend within a few months", "It’s hard work to pick just the ripe red cherries and leave the green to continue ripening." said John to the farmer. It is the commitment to quality in the field, the factory, the Roastery and in our stores that makes great coffee such a challenge and Costa such a success.

Potential for a new generation

John returned to the UK with a new respect for the efforts of the coffee farmers and their families and also the potential for a new generation of children who have been helped by the Costa Foundation schools.

We thank our Teams and Customers for their support, wherever they are, all over the world. The Costa Foundation continues to help communities grow, thanks to you.