Coffee shop which gives rough sleepers a chance opens in Birmingham

Change Please started in 2015 and offers rough sleepers a three month paid training programme to become baristas and help rebuild their confidence.

Started by entrepreneur, Cemal Ezel,in 2010 Change Please was created to give the capital's homeless community an opportunity to learn new skills and change their lives. As part of the scheme, the individual is given new clothes, a haircut and access to accommodation for a few days before being paid the living wage to find somewhere permanent to live. Ezel said:

"Since 2010, homelessness has doubled in the UK - now, over 4,000 people sleep rough every night. Change Please believes that the nation’s love of coffee is so strong, it could be just what we need to end homelessness once and for all.

"The average worker treats themselves to two cups every single day and demand is rising. By the end of the year the number of UK coffee outlets is set to hit 21,000, creating over 100,000 jobs, but despite this, the industry is facing a huge skills shortage.

"If the homeless community addressed this shortage, homelessness could become a thing of the past. Change Please is empowering the homeless community by training them to be baristas. We provide full barista training, jobs and support with housing, bank accounts and mental well being."

Change Please supplies coffee to WeWork offices across the country and is looking to set an example to bigger coffee shop chains, with all of their cups being made from plant material and their waste coffee able to be ground into biofuel.

Their Birmingham coffee bar will open at the newest WeWork offices on 55 Colmore Row, today.


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