When is a cup of coffee, more than a cup of coffee? When it’s a Change Please coffee.
Change Please is where social enterprise and coffee expertise blend. Where every award-winning cup they brew — and every cup we buy — helps change someone’s life for the better. The company uses 100% of its profits to give people experiencing homelessness a living wage job, housing, training, onwards opportunities — and a fresh shot (pun intended!) at life.
The Change Please team wants to tackle the homelessness crisis with a simple formula: people buy their coffee, and they help the homeless back into homes and employment.
Oh, and their coffee not only tastes amazing (they have their own beans too) but as importantly, they keep their profits in the business and use them to support people experiencing homelessness.
The Change Please Speciality Coffee Association accredited training centre is where a Change Please trainee’s journey will start. They cover every aspect of coffee making, from green beans and roasting through to latte art and customer service. The aim is to equip trainees with the skills and experience they need to start a new career and have a secure place to live.
In addition to work-based skills, they focus on the trainee’s wider needs. A secure income means they can help improve living circumstances and also assist with any therapy needs. The organisation also helps with some of life’s admin, getting through the paperwork of returning to work and managing finances.
Now the Change Please Foundation has repurposed two London buses.
Working with architecture and design practice TP Bennet, they have brought the Driving for Change bus project to fruition. This is an all-in-one direct intervention service providing the vulnerable homeless with access to free GP consultations, haircuts, dental care, digital and financial literacy training, support opening a bank account where appropriate, employment support, shower facilities, therapy assessments, and essential everyday items.
The buses are now providng sometimes lifesaving services on London’s streets six days a week. And there are plans to take the scheme on the road nationally, before rolling it out globally, with talks already ongoing in Paris and Los Angeles
Founder Cemal Ezel hopes the project will run through until next year, with financial backing from HSBC UK, Colgate, Mastercard and other companies.
We’ll drink to that.