Providing hot drinks for the poor and needy

Reallise Futres cafes - suspended coffees scheme to continue

Reallise Futres cafes - suspended coffees scheme to continue - Credit: Archant

Social enterprise Realise Futures is to expand a successful charitable giving initiative called Suspended Coffees across its Suffolk cafés.

Suspended coffees is a global project which encourages café customers to buy a second hot drink to ‘suspend’ to give to someone who cannot afford to pay for one of their own - for example a person who is homeless.

The initiative has been successfully run at the Realise Futures’ Town Hall Café in Ipswich since March, and is now being rolled out to the company’s cafes at St Lawrence Café in Dial Lane, Ipswich, Café Libra in Bury St Edmunds Library, St Andrews Street North, Bury St Edmunds, Café Libra at Felixstowe library in Crescent Road, Felixstowe, and also @The Rec Café in Finborough Road, Stowmarket.

Staff from Realise Futures – a community interest company which helps people who are disabled or disadvantaged – say the idea, to encourage charitable support through donating hot drinks, has been well received.

Staff from the cafes will be promoting the Suspended Coffees initiative.

Steve Bruce, catering manager for Realise Futures, said: “People in Ipswich have been very generous in supporting this scheme; it means they have able to help people who could not otherwise afford a hot drink. We offer drinks to people like Big Issue vendors, and those who are in need of a coffee with no means of paying for one.

“We think it’s a great way for people to show how much they care. For the recipient, this act of kindness means a lot. With the weather turning colder now, a hot drink is a very welcome and means a lot.”

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“The initiative has proved popular with regular visitors at the Town Hall Café and has been taken up by numerous customers who could not afford a visit under normal circumstances.”

He added: “The scheme is open to anyone who needs a warm drink and a place to rest. With the use of food banks at an all-time high, and with the expected drop in seasonal temperatures beginning to bite, the offer is needed more than ever by more and more people each week.”

The Suspended Coffees initiative has 550 registered cafes worldwide and has thousands of followers on the social networking site Facebook. The Suspended Coffees Facebook page was created in January this year, and just 10 days after launch had 250,000 followers.

According to the Suspended Coffees organising team some cafes even offer ‘suspended’ snacks and meals, as well as drinks.

Realise Futures is a community interest company and 40% of its workforce are disabled or disadvantaged. As a social enterprise, it reinvests all its profits back into the organisation to continue its social mission to create opportunities for people to succeed in work, learning and life.