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Social enterprise coffee kiosks in stations

Change Please is a social enterprise which is tackling homelessness by training people living on the streets to become baristas. Their kiosks are now available in TfL underground stations and onboard Virgin trains, contributing to the value the railway gives back to society.

Company - Change Please

What’s the issue being addressed?

According to Change Please, homelessness has doubled in the UK since 2010, meaning that over 4,000 people sleep rough every night. With railway stations at the heart of communities, they can be a place of safety and comfort for vulnerable members of the community. According to Network Rail, during the cold weather and snow in early 2018, the public made over 11,000 referrals with the word ‘station’ in the location description via the homelessness referral service StreetLink.

How was this solved?

Through the Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan provided £60,000 funding for two new kiosks to be opened in Underground stations across London. This will help to provide training, employment and support with accommodation and mental wellbeing to Change Please employees. The first kiosk opened at Clapham Common in November 2018, with the coffee having won several awards, including Great Taste Awards and a Quality Food Award.

To help support homeless people and those sleeping rough locally, Change Please is also working with a Clapham Common shelter, Ace of Clubs. Commuters will be able to purchase £1 Ace of Clubs meal cards at the kiosk, which will provide a hot meal for the recipient.

In October 2018 Virgin Trains also made Change Please coffee available to purchase onboard their trains and served in First Class carriages. As well as this, Virgin Trains has been encouraging their staff to contact Change Please when they see rough sleeping at stations.

What were the outcomes?

The partnership with TfL has been extremely well received and the baristas now have regulars. Change Please is working with TfL to open more Underground kiosks in 2019. All profits from the partnership go back into directly helping homeless people out of poverty.

Principles

Having a positive social impact, Supporting the economy

Asset/ operations

N/A

Organisation type

Non-profit organisation

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