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Charity of the Caffeine Type


Have you heard about Suspended Coffees yet?

If you’re Italian, you probably have, because this kindly act originated in Naples.  Known there as caffè sospeso, it is the act of buying a coffee in advance for someone in need.

This concept has spread around the world, and is now becoming popular in the UK. Some independent coffee shops are joining in with this community donation scheme, supporting local people in need.  This BBC article and video clearly depict the community aspect of the scheme. 

Starbucks have also set up a suspended coffee scheme: they donate the coffee to their charity partner Oasis, who use the coffee for events and for one-to-one sessions with people in need.  Starbucks also matches the customer’s donation with their own cash donation to Oasis.

It is an easy way to donate, and the recipients can enjoy the benefits with dignity. I shall certainly be watching out for cafes that participate.

6 replies »

  1. I’ve found a few people writing and commenting on this idea (including myself!

    I think it’s a great idea, especially for those who may not feel comfortable giving directly to a homeless person. However it has come under fire by people saying it might be abused, by the homeless having more than their share or by non-homeless people trying to get free coffee. Both suggestions are quite ridiculous, I think. If we can help those who have less than us in any way possible, then surely that’s a good thing.



    • I agree with you. I know there is no verification and there can’t be or it would go against the whole idea of being accessible and non-patronising. Where it is a community initiative, abuse is unlikely. And even if a few people abuse the system it is still very much worth doing. It is not just about allowing people ot have a hot drink, it’s about them getting out of their home or hostel, and starting to socialise a little. It’s about allowing them a bit of self-respect.


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