Advertisement
Housing

This charity is selling ‘invisible coffee’ to help tackle homelessness

From invisible drinks to faux baristas, The Invisible Coffee Company has come up with a unique way to fight homelessness.

A coffee company with a twist has launched this week to raise money to help tackle homelessness.

The Invisible Coffee Company aims to draw attention to the homeless community who “often feel invisible” by encouraging customers to donate £3 to £5 as though they were buying a real coffee, without receiving the product in return.

Set up with faux baristas and an ‘invisible menu’, the coffee company was launched as a collaboration between charity Single Homeless Project and advertising agency CPB London.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

Their intention is to encourage those who don’t hesitate to spend money on coffee every day to consider spending that cash on a donation. All of the money made as a result goes towards the Single Homeless Project, which helps single Londoners by preventing homelessness and providing support and accommodation.

“Being invisible could be an amazing superpower. But feeling invisible is something very different and for Londoners living on our city’s streets, it’s a daily, grim reality,” said Liz Rutherfoord, CEO at Single Homeless Project.

“By buying a cup of invisible coffee, people can help a Londoner to leave homelessness behind, to be seen and to be heard and find a place to call home. Together, let’s end homelessness in our city.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Big Issue Foundation

Donate to support vendors today

Your gift today will mean Big Issue vendors will get the support they need to progress forward in life. You will be supporting vendors in key areas including housing, finance, mental health and employment.

A report conducted by Single Homeless Project found a person is forced into homelessness every 11 minutes in London.

“When you’ve got no home, no money, no-one asks your name or how you’re doing, it’s easy to see how you could feel invisible. As though you don’t matter,” said Helen James, managing director of CPB London. 

“When you buy a cup of Invisible Coffee this week from us, you’ll be helping homeless Londoners get back on their feet. Oh, and while the coffee won’t warm you up, it will warm your heart.”

Image: The Invisible Coffee Company

As well as having an online store, The Invisible Coffee Company also raises funds from a TukTuk located outside London’s King’s Cross station. Despite offering ‘invisible coffee’, the stand is decked out like a traditional coffee shop, with branded barista T-shirts, cups and sandwich boards.

Article continues below

It follows a similar model introduced by Change Please, which trains people experiencing homelessness as baristas and pays them a living wage. It was set up following investment from Big Issue Invest, and now has its coffee stocked in Sainsbury’s.

CPB London began working with Single Homeless Project at the end of 2021, and decided that as well as making a standard corporate donation, they wanted to use some of their creative smarts to devise an awareness-raising campaign with a twist.

Visit the store here.

Advertisement

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

Recommended for you

Read All
Three quarters of Brits back rent controls to solve England’s housing crisis
Renting

Three quarters of Brits back rent controls to solve England’s housing crisis

Help to Build scheme asks Brits to tackle the housing crisis – but ‘won’t reach those in need’
Housing crisis

Help to Build scheme asks Brits to tackle the housing crisis – but ‘won’t reach those in need’

What are homeless hostels?
Homelessness

What are homeless hostels?

Buying a home in the UK is more expensive than ever. When will house prices go down?
House Prices

Buying a home in the UK is more expensive than ever. When will house prices go down?

Most Popular

Read All
Exclusive: BT call centre sets up 'food bank' for its own staff
1.

Exclusive: BT call centre sets up 'food bank' for its own staff

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'
2.

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'

Rainn Wilson emailed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to say Harry Mudd would 'fit right in'
3.

Rainn Wilson emailed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to say Harry Mudd would 'fit right in'

The UK approach to replacing the Human Rights Act is just as worrying as the replacement itself
4.

The UK approach to replacing the Human Rights Act is just as worrying as the replacement itself

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.