When I first heard about the social enterprise Change Please, I knew it was something that I wanted to get involved with. Who are they? Change Please is a social enterprise empowering the homeless community by training them to be baristas. The company provides full barista training, jobs paying London Living Wage and support with housing, bank accounts and mental wellbeing to get those people off the streets. Why? Their motto is “really good coffee doesn’t just taste good - it does good too”.
The business was founded by Cemal Ezel, who found himself inspired during a trip to Vietnam. He visited a tea house run by deaf and mute women - and decided on the spot to do something similar when he got back to London. A short time later, Change Please arrived!
"If we can just get a small proportion of coffee drinkers to simply change where they buy their coffee, we could really change the world."
Cemal Ezel, Change Please, Founder
When I heard that Change Please would be opening a new coffee kiosk, I was first to volunteer to go and capture the moment on camera! So my day began at the iconic Clapham Common Underground station…
At Clapham Common station I met Marco, who will be running the kiosk, and Maik, his mentor. They were keen to show off their barista skills and I was keen for a coffee, so they put their equipment into action while I snapped away!
Change Please have received international recognition in 2018, having been awarded the Chivas Venture prize in the UK category for social enterprise. With this new investment, Change Please are opening more coffee kiosks and supporting more of London’s homeless. Within time, they want to be one of the biggest coffee chains in the UK!
So next time you fancy a cup of coffee or if you’re passing through Clapham Common station, look out for Change Please! Good coffee, doing good.
If you’d like to find out more, visit their website: www.changeplease.org
And if you know of a social enterprise or charity doing amazing things in London (or further afield), please put them in touch. I would love to go and photograph them!