London Housing Foundation have announced an award of £43,500 to support the Paid-Training and Employment Programme run by Change Please.
Founded in 2015, Change Please coffee is an award-winning social enterprise which aims to end homelessness through selling great coffee and training people who have experienced homelessness to work in the catering industry.
The paid training and employment programme aims to enable people experiencing homelessness to get back into the working world. Over the course of one to six months training at the Change Please academy, trainees learn everything they need to find work in the hospitality industry – from roasting and latte art, through to customer service, time keeping and social skills.
Trainees are offered therapy sessions and the team works on improving their confidence and self-worth. They are paid a living wage, provided with housing, and supported in other fields of interest. At the end of their training, graduates are employed at a Change Please coffee shop or in one of its restaurant industry partners.
Keira, a graduate of the Change Please employment programme says:
“Change Please doesn’t just give you a job, they make sure you are mentally okay in all aspects such as anxiety, depression and they make sure you have everything else you need to make you good at your job. Once you are done with the training programme at Change Please, they don’t just drop you and leave you, they make sure they find somewhere for you to start a career”.
Another graduate, who now manages a site for one of Change Please’ partners Sodexo in King’s Cross said:
“I feel like I belong and fit in, and like I am doing a good job. That’s what Change Please does and means. It does exactly what it says it does. I feel part of a movement, part of a change in society. Everyone is part of a bigger thing. I am not just someone who makes the coffee, we are Change Please.”
Ian Brady Executive Chair of London Housing Foundation said:
“We are extremely pleased to be able to support Change Please and especially their effective Paid Training and Employment Programme, which gives real work and so real hope to many vulnerable people. By providing this support and training they are helping people find their own way in the world rather than having to rely on others.”