Atmosphere Kitchen and Bar, located at the University of Salford, is one of the first places in Greater Manchester to support the London-based scheme which provides homeless people with a better life.

‘Change Please’ is a project that supports people living on the streets by training them as baristas and providing them with coffee carts to sell hot drinks to the public.

Alan Warnock, head of Catering and Bars, explained that Change Please provides homeless people with accommodation and support if they suffer from mental health issues.

He said: “The charity would find those people who are willing to change. They would then get on board by sorting their mental health out, their own health, physical health. Just basically getting their life back on track.”

Once they have received the right amount of help, the homeless then receive training before getting their own business.

Copyright: Lucy Matthews

Each bag of coffee purchased at Atmosphere goes towards supporting the homeless. Megan Hayward, Sabbatical Officer for Arts and Media said: “The way it works at Salford SU is you buy the coffee beans and then sell it and that’s how the profits go back to helping the charity.”

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She also commented on how successful the transition from selling one coffee brand to Change Please has been: “It has definitely had a positive impact and it does stand out a little bit more than the generic brands that you can find in Salford.”

Hayward explained that people enjoy coming to the SU cafe as they know they will get a good quality cup of coffee that goes towards a good cause. Salford university’s cafe began selling Change Please in August and have slowly introduced it since. Branding appeared last month.

Change Please coffee has won taste awards and can be purchased in supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s.

The new branding at the SU. Copyright: Lucy Matthews

Emmaus Salford, a homeless charity that also offers accommodation and employment, have spoke about the importance of projects like this. Quincy, an employee for Emmaus said: “I think it’s great. Whatever it takes to get homeless people off the streets.”

He described how projects, like Change Please and Emmaus, allow homeless people to get active and keeps them busy.

Gail Trowbridge, who also works at Emmaus, agreed with the work that Salford SU is doing to tackle homelessness in Greater Manchester and said that more should be done in this area.

Mrs Trowbridge said: “People get referred to us and when they come here, we take them in and they can stay as long as they want or as short as they want. We help them to progress onto their new life outside of Emmaus.”

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Emmaus Salford shop entrance. Copyright: Lucy Matthews.

Homelessness is a major issue in large cities such as Manchester but also places like Salford which Hayward continued, “Obviously, Salford is a smaller scale than Manchester, but the problem is just as relevant and obvious in Salford as it is in the city centre”.

In terms of the future, Mr Warnock spoke about possibly getting pop ups around campus and that, “we will be selling Change Please as much as we can”.

The union here at the University of Salford hopes to see an increase in the upcoming year as they plan on a bigger launch of the charity. As time goes on, ‘Change Please’ and their message will hopefully start to spread across the country.

‘Our story’- Change Please coffee. Copyright: Lucy Matthews

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