It’s estimated there are 320,000 people living homeless in the UK at the moment – it’s a problem that’s getting worse and one charity claims the rate is equivalent to 36 new people becoming homeless every single day. The problem is an incredibly complex one to solve and despite pledges by a number of politicians to eliminate rough sleeping the homeless population has actually doubled since 2010.
There are a number of initiatives to combat homelessness and one of the most exciting right now has got to be a mobile coffee chain called ‘Change Please’. Founded in 2015 by former commodities trader Cemal Ezal, this not for profit business offers education programmes and barista training for homeless people throughout Britain. Graduates of the programme then go onto work at one of the Change Please mobile coffee shops or fixed locations.
What’s even better is that Change Please coffee has been consistently rated as a good brew and has won a string of awards including the Great Taste Awards. So, as a customer, by choosing Change Please you’re not only getting a decent coffee but also investing in someone’s future.
The project will soon debut in the United States, with Change Please initially setting up locations in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
And now Change Please has won major backing from Virgin Atlantic, becoming the airline’s choice of coffee served in its lounges worldwide and in all cabins in-flight.
“I can’t think of a more suitable collaboration than with Virgin Atlantic, working together to serve the best coffee available in the skies. Passengers can enjoy award-winning coffee on board safe in the knowledge they’re making a difference to the lives of homeless people,” commented Ezal.
Change Please was actually backed by Virgin Startups and is already served on Virgin Trains in the UK so it makes sense that Virgin Atlantic would also show the brand some love. Nonetheless, the backing is still a big endorsement and will be a huge boost in terms of spreading its message and giving it the funds to help more people.
And of course, the coffee is also responsibly sourced – Virgin Atlantic says the beans come from farms that support local communities and seek to improve the working conditions and wages of the farmers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.