Social Justice

Change Please

What if your morning coffee could change lives?

Meet the coffee brand Change Please, hoping to make that happen.

During the course of the last 8 years, homelessness in the UK has doubled. Today, more than 4,000 people sleep rough every night, and this is unacceptable. The initiative Change Please believes and hopes that the nation’s love of coffee is strong enough to end homelessness once and for all.

The fact of the matter is that the average Londoner drinks about two cups of coffee every day and the demand for coffee is on the rise. So, if only a small proportion of coffee drinkers would change where they buy their coffee, they could really help change the world.

By the end of the decade, the number of UK coffee outlets will reach 21,000 creating more than 100,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the industry is facing a large skills shortage, not just in the UK, but across the globe. If the homeless community managed to address this shortage, homelessness could become history.

By merging Londoner’s love of coffee with the issue of homelessness, Change Please hopes to empower the homeless community by training them to be baristas. By doing so, the initiative will provide jobs paying the London Living Wage as well as support with housing, banking and mental health.

The initiative currently has five central London locations, in South East London and East London, with more planned. So far, broadcasters like the BBC and ITV have featured stories about the issue. Similarly, newspapers and magazines like Metro, Time Out, The Independent and The Guardian have featured articles on the idea, helping to raise awareness of the initiative and its main goal.

The coffee blend distributed by Change Please has also won several awards and can be bought daily at their carts. All in all, Change Please is a social enterprise staffed by the homeless, to help the homeless. The dream is that really good coffee, like the one they sell, should not just taste good, but do good too.

About the author

Linn Byberg

My main fields of interest are international relations, economics and political science. Apart from being passionate about the possibility of creating political change, I enjoy language-learning and travelling.

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