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Elior UK donates £15,000 to award-winning social enterprise, Change Please, to fund trainees

Elior UK has committed to fully fund five trainees – at a total cost of £15,000 – through a training and employment programme provided by Change Please, a social enterprise created to address the growing issue of homelessness and its damaging effect on individuals and society.  As well as funding training, Elior UK will work with Change Please to identify potential employment and apprenticeship opportunities throughout its business.

Founded in 2015, Change Please’s mission is to end homelessness through selling great coffee. The social enterprise uses its profits to train people experiencing homelessness to be baristas and provides help with accommodation, mental wellbeing, opening a bank account and with gaining employment after they have completed their training.  On average every 562 cups of coffee sold generates enough money to pay for a day of barista training.

This further commitment from Elior UK is an extension of its already long-standing relationship with Change Please, developed through its subsidiary Lexington Catering, which has included donations from coffee purchases and the provision of workplaces for trainees.

Justin Johnson, HR Director at Elior UK, said: “We are delighted to support Change Please and to provide funding to support an initial five individuals through its training and employment programme. Change Please is an extra-ordinary social enterprise which uses 100% of its profits to provide training and comprehensive support for people experiencing homelessness. This commitment supports our ESG and social value goals while at the same time providing delicious, ethically sourced coffee for our clients and their customers.

“Our relationship with Change Please and this financial commitment underlines our determination to ensure that our recruitment and training programmes are socially responsible and inclusive and that we actively support and contribute to the local communities where we operate.”

Matt Wood, Managing Director of Lexington Catering, said: “We are proud to have worked with Change Please for many years and that this partnership has resulted in over 110 individuals to be lifted out of homelessness and the employment of 23 at sites where we provide catering services.”

Cemal Ezel, Founder and CEO of Change Please, said: “Our partnership with Lexington has helped us to achieve our goal to change lives for the better by serving our award-winning coffee at many of its sites. It is wonderful that Elior UK is now providing additional support by making a significant investment to support our training programme and fund five trainees.”

Trainees are from a range of backgrounds including ex-offenders, rough sleepers and people in temporary accommodation or at risk of homelessness and are recruited from local homeless and support organisations.

Coffee beans at Change Please come from farms that support local communities and its coffee is served in 100% recyclable cups.