Today Social Bite, the social enterprise that aims to end homelessness, launches its very first coffee shop in London. It will operate a rewarding ‘PayIt-Forward’ system whereby customers who come in to buy a coffee or a sandwich can buy an additional meal or hot drink in advance for someone who is homeless to redeem later.
The new opening will become Social Bite’s very first site outside of Scotland and will employ
people from the homeless community to work there full-time. The charity aims for 1 in 4 of
their staff to come from a background of homelessness.
Like all other of its sites across Scotland, Social Bite aims to give out an average of 180,000
items of free food and hot drinks year-round across its network of coffee shops and charity
partners. They have provided more than 800,000 food packs during the pandemic alone.
The new shop will be a permanent fixture located within the hustle and bustle of the Strand
near Covent Garden. The Borough of Westminster, specifically the Strand, is the ‘epicentre’
of homelessness in the UK, with an exceptionally high number of rough sleepers.
Westminster has the highest rates of rough sleepers in the whole of England, and almost six
times higher than any other London borough.
Social Bite shot to global fame when the Edinburgh café was visited by Hollywood superstars
Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney. Other famous visitors to the café include The
Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, and Nobel laureate Malala
Josh Littlejohn MBE, Founder of Social Bite, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch a
new coffee shop in central London. It’s such an incredible milestone for us all here at Social
Bite. There are many great charities already working in London, but we truly believe that
our social impact program is life-changing and provides something unique, having helped
the lives of thousands we are excited to bring this change to the streets of London”.