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Turning coffee demand into homelessness support

Pinsent Masons’ global headquarters is in the heart of the City of London, an area known for its globe-spanning financial services activity, but where people still experience poverty and homelessness. The firm sought to make a difference to those people in line with its purpose, part of which is to make business work better for people.

The Challenge

London provides the environment for major multinational business and finance to flourish, but not everybody benefits from this. Pinsent Masons sought a way to help alleviate some of the poverty and homelessness experienced around its London base by leveraging the spending power of the many people who come in and out of its building every day.

The Solution

The firm partnered with social enterprise Change Please, which sells barista-made coffee and uses all its profits to giving a living wage, training, therapy and housing support to people experiencing homelessness.

Along with Change Please, Pinsent Masons invested in a classic Italian Piaggio van, fitted it with a state-of-the-art coffee machine and started selling coffee to staff and visitors in the newly refurbished reception of the London office. The café is run by Change Please and regularly used as a training site for people who had previously experienced homelessness, providing a vital stepping stone in their journey back into full time employment.

The result

The coffee van was immediately successful, with sales of over £8,000 a month. This has funded the training of a new trainee every month. The success has also led to the firm serving Change Please coffee in four more offices - Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.

 

Julian Burnham – Change Please MD said:
The partnership with Pinsent Masons’ has been a wonderful one. The initial desire of the business to make a difference to people in their local community has been more than matched by actions of the Pinsent Masons’ team. The provision of safe and respectful training sites for people who are on their journey back into work enables us to help more people. In this case, it also enables the staff and visitors of Pinsent Masons enjoy great tasting, life-changing, coffee. We are greatly looking forward to the next phase of our partnership and to Pinsent Masons’ team thoughout the UK enjoying Change Please coffee.

 

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