Change Please

The Big Issue

The launch of the first ‘street’ magazine by the Big Issue was not only revolutionary for the
publishing industry, it was an entirely new way to help the homeless. But the magazine industry is changing. Great content is constantly available online, and the number of free publications handed out on the streets is ever increasing. With this in mind we approached the Big Issue with an innovative idea to help tackle homelessness.

The Insight

In contrast to the ailing magazine industry, the £8 billion coffee industry in the UK is booming. An individual might purchase a magazine once a fortnight but easily buys multiple coffees every week, often walking past a Big Issue vendor to queue up in a major coffee chain.

The Idea

Tap into the nation’s thirst for coffee; provide people who are homeless with accommodation, the skills and equipment to sell great coffee.

'Change Please'

We believe that if we could get people just to change where they buy their coffee, we really could change
the world.

We developed the name and brand from scratch. Change Please is designed to be highly distinctive in a market of bold and familiar brands. The name comes down to what we want people to do.

The Coffee

To stand up to the competition a sub-standard product was not an option, and we were tremendously fortunate to meet Cemal Ezel. He launched the Old Spike Roastery in Peckham, a coffee shop to help homeless people in the community, where they roast and sell fantastic quality, great tasting coffee.


thousand cups of coffee sold. 

The Baristas

We have worked with local councils and charities to find our first team of eight baristas. They are housed as part of the programme, paid London Living Wage and provided with ongoing training and support. After six months in the programme they will be offered employment by one of our partners, allowing Change Please to help a new group of people to get back on their feet. All profit will be reinvested to help us expand rapidly throughout London and beyond, with another twenty carts planned for the New Year.