Essex Students Combat Homelessness Through the Power of Great Coffee

Students, staff and visitors at the University of Essex are embracing an exciting new coffee brand as part of a drive to increase sustainability and give back more to the community

The team at Essex Food, who run all the food and beverage outlets at the University of Essex, were looking to overhaul their coffee offering when their commercial coffee machine supplier Liquidline introduced them to Change Please.

Change Please is a non-profit social enterprise that uses funds made from the sale of coffee to support people experiencing homelessness. Their employment first model aims to tackle homelessness by retraining people as baristas, then providing living-wage employment, as well as support with housing, mental health and finance. It’s a very successful initiative with over 85% of their trainees going on to further employment.

Not only does Change Please support a fantastic cause, but their coffee is top-notch too. They believe that you should never have to compromise on quality to do something good, which is why their coffee blends have won five Great Taste Awards. They’re also passionate about environmental sustainability. They pay their coffee farmers more than the big players, use renewable energy sources and their branded cups are made from 100% compostable materials.

Essex Food has chosen to serve Change Please’s 100% arabica Adventurous coffee blend at the University’s Zest fresh café, which has also been refurbished in line with the vibrant Change Please brand, and Lakeside Theatre Café; both located at their main Colchester campus.

Darren Tyers, Operations Manager at Essex Food, commented: “Change Please really appealed to us. It aligns with what the University is all about – leading the way with sustainability, working with the local community and helping good causes.

“Our team has really taken the new coffee on board and the feedback from the University has been excellent – both students and staff love it!”

Gavin Pooley, Director of Liquidline, who supply the University’s coffee added: “Through our partnership with Change Please we’ve been able to introduce them to a much wider audience.

“We supply and maintain coffee machines for over 10,000 businesses and public sector organisations, as well as providing their ongoing coffee supplies, and so far the feedback for Change Please has been phenomenal.

“The University of Essex is such a forward-facing and pioneering institution, so we approached them with the Change Please offering very early on. They were one of our first customers to switch their coffee to Change Please and we hope many will follow their example in 2022.”

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