Centrepoint operates a resource centre for homeless young people on Dean Street in Soho. We want to utilise the centre at weekends to set up a social enterprise café. The café will be staffed by homeless young people who will gain work experience including customer service, cash handling and food hygiene. This will give them the skills and experience to find work in London’s thriving food retail and hospitality economy.
There are 141 homeless young people housed in Westminster by four charities: Centrepoint, The Cardinal Hume Centre, Depaul Trust and One Housing. This social enterprise will provide work experience opportunities for the young people helping them to secure employment and move on with their lives.
We believe a social enterprise café where customers are served by homeless young people trying to improve their job prospects and where all profits are ploughed into maintaining the resource centre will be an attractive proposition to the community.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
It is a great idea because:
We will be providing skills and experience to disadvantaged homeless young people who live in the local community.
We will be giving unemployed homeless young people who lack opportunities a chance to find work.
We will be providing homeless young people with a stake in their community, encouraging them to be more active and positive and helping them to feel more integrated.
We will be extending the use of the centre outside of its current hours making it more flexible and efficient.
We will be maximising the use of the existing modern facilities at the centre and the benefits of its prime location.
We will be adding a commercial dimension to the activities of our charity.
We will be tapping into a wealthy community where an ethical alternative to mainstream coffee shops will be very appealing.
We will be tapping into our individual and corporate supporters that operate in the food retail industry and can advise and support us in this venture.
Steps to get it done:
The café will begin by making hot and cold drinks on the premises and selling cakes, biscuits, pastries and sandwiches from suppliers. As the social enterprise develops we will explore opportunities for making food on the premises in the basement kitchen reducing over heads and increasing the profit margin.
This will also expand the training opportunities for homeless young people exploring baking and sandwich making possibilities. Looking further into the future, there may be the possibility of hosting events at the resource centre catered by the social enterprise. This could include training, workshops, small seminars and even evening events with drinks and canapés.
We have a number of corporate partners in the food retail industry, entrepreneur supporters and existing social enterprises who can advise and guide us on this journey. This could include pro bono support and benefiting from existing supply chains.
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