The award-winning Change Please has been giving homeless people a hand-up on the streets, in supermarkets and now on the tube.
The Big Issue Invest-backed venture started off training rough sleepers as baristas on a single cart on London streets before its coffee reached Sainsbury’s shelves last year. Yesterday the initiative’s latest site opened with a kiosk in Clapham Common tube station with the added mission of helping people sleeping rough on the transport system.
As well as barista training, Change Please will also provide accommodation and wellbeing support to rough sleepers to help lift themselves out of poverty while earning the Living Wage.
The new site, joining 31 others across London, Coventry, Manchester and more, was launched with a little help from Michelin star chef Michel Roux, who was joined by Change Please founder Cemal Ezel and barista Mo Austins at the grand opening.
“Sadly, homeless individuals are 13 per cent more likely to be the victims of crime and with winter approaching it’s understandable so many seek sanctuary across TfL’s network,” said Ezel. “We’re therefore so happy the Mayor of London and TfL have chosen Change Please to open at their stations, helping us fight the growing problem of homelessness and giving commuters a way to change lives every time they buy a coffee.”
The move into tube stations is the first step on a partnership with Transport for London with at least one more Underground site to come off the back of £60,000 funding from the London Mayor Sadiq Khan.