Russell Blake, Compass Group - Healthcare managing director for Hospitals and Senior Living with Nicky Kitchener, Estates & Facilities Contracts Manager at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
Coffee Partnership to Support the Homeless
A partnership at Southend University Hospital between social enterprise Change Please and Compass Group UK&I – Healthcare will help reduce local levels of homelessness.
Change Please raises money for charitable causes through the sales of its award-winning coffee. Originally launched in London to train homeless people to serve its coffee as a means of getting off the streets, the organisation has also been involved with initiatives to supply free coffee to NHS Nightingale hospital workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of the Change Please offer, a new look café has opened at the hospital, providing a range of hot and cold drinks, alongside a variety of food including paninis, sandwiches and snacks, as well as fresh fruit. Compass has been working with Southend Hospital for 20 years and offers retail services alongside patient dining.
Russell Blake, managing director for Hospitals and Senior Living at Compass Group UK & Ireland – Healthcare, comments: "This is a pioneering social enterprise and we’re excited to be able to support it at Southend University Hospital. Compass Group UK & Ireland is part of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge – committing to supporting social enterprises and increasing spend with them. Compass has worked with Change Please for several years, helping 75 people out of homelessness – so we’re thrilled to continue this partnership working in an NHS hospital."
Cemal Ezel, Founder & CEO of Change Please, says: "We’re delighted to be teaming up with Compass Group UK & Ireland – Healthcare at their Southend University Hospital site for the first time. With the number of people sleeping rough in London doubling in the last 5 years, it’s vital that we can help as many people as possible and providing award winning coffee at Southend will help us do this. The more coffee we can sell, the more people we can train as baristas, helping to get them off the streets."
Manoj Chohan, Head of Sustainability at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, adds: "As a Trust, we are continually looking for new and innovative ways to support our local communities, improve social inclusion and reduce inequalities. By teaming up with the award-winning social enterprise, Change Please we can act as an enabler and help equip vulnerable individuals with the skills and experience they need to have a fresh start at life."