Big Issue Sellers Will Soon Be Selling Us Coffee


A new coffee company, styled on the The Big Issue magazine, has launched to try and help once homeless people get back on their feet and started on a new career.

Change Please coffee will provide jobs and barista training to people from the growing community of rough sleepers in London with eight coffee carts dotted around several London hotspots, such as Covent Garden and Borough, before being rolled out across the capital over the coming month.

Employees will be paid London living wage, allowing them to develop the skills and experience needed to enter the mainstream workforce after six months. The non-profit organisation behind the project will also underwrite tenancies for its workers, enabling them to rent their own homes.

With demand for flat whites and skinny on the rise – a further 3,000 coffee shops are expected to open in the UK by 2020 – and the amount of people sleeping rough rose up by a staggering 37 per cent in London, it seems like a positive solution.

The initiative is backed by the founder of the Big Issue magazine, John Bird, and Cemal Ezel, a social entrepreneur and former commodities trader.

Cemal, who runs the Old Spike Roastery in Peckham employing homeless people, said:

Coffee is very commercial, it is very communal and it is more and more part of people’s daily habits, this is about getting people off the streets and into housing.