Free Coffee Board Initiative
Fight social exclusion
Homelessness isn't just about sleeping rough. All too often it also means isolation and loneliness. Even in a big city like London, homeless men and women can go several days without exchanging a single word with anyone, or even making eye contact with another human being. Sometimes, ordering a coffee and chatting with a barista who knows you by your first name and remembers your usual order is more important than the coffee itself.
This is why we launched the FREE COFFEE BOARD INITIATIVE since the very outset of founding the company back in 2013.
At Black Sheep, customers can leave their fully stamped loyalty card on the Free Coffee Board or purchase a sticker at a discounted price to be pinned on the board. Anyone who cannot afford coffee can redeem those for any hot drink of their choice.
Customers often write kind messages on the stickers, our baristas are trained to make homeless people feel welcome, and the scheme pays for itself as customers also contribute to the donations to ensure the initiative can sustain across all our shops without ever being terminated for financial reasons.
TOGETHER LET’S FIGHT SOCIAL EXCLUSION ONE COFFEE AT A TIME!
Stewart has been sleeping rough in the streets of London for some time now. Over the winter months of 2021/22 he became a regular at our Aldgate Station kiosk, making daily use of the Free Coffee Board there.
Stewart started a new job on 1 March moving furniture and stopped by to say thanks. He mentioned that our team at Black Sheep had been incredibly kind to him, even going the extra mile to donate some books and warm clothes which kept him occupied and warm. He said that Black Sheep was a big part of what kept him going during the winter months.
Stewart used to love riding bicycles when he was younger, and he hopes the income from his new job will allow him to buy one so he can hit the roads again.
Anthony lives in London but when the night comes, he's got no home to go back to, no roof over his head and with winter now upon us a hot cup of coffee goes a long way! Like many, he makes use of our FREE COFFEE BOARD initiative and over the months he's become a regular at our Great Portland St shop and made friends with our awesome GM Yasmine who always remembers his usual. Sometimes Anthony comes early in the morning and helps with opening and putting out the tables. He says it’s nice to know that someone is expecting him.