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CAF Venturesome

TOM'S STORY

How one man's life was turned around by three social organisations supported by Venturesome.

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Prisoners Abroad Old Spike Roastery Change Please

UK based, working internationally | London

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FROM HOMELESSNESS TO HAPPINESS

2016

£150,000 helped Prisoners Abroad invest in a larger office and expanded fundraising team.

£40,000 enabled Old Spike Roastery to buy a larger coffee roaster to increase production and work with more homeless people.

2017

£50,000 enabled Old Spike Roastery to refurbish and open a new café in Southwark Town Hall.

£50,000 supported Change Please to purchase more coffee carts, offering more training and employment opportunities.

TOM'S STORY

Thomas, a British citizen who had been living without official papers in the US since he was a child, was deported from the US in 2015 after serving a short prison sentence for drug possession.  He was put on a plane and wished “good luck” by two marines – that was the extent of the support he received.

SURVIVING HOMELESSNESS

Getting off the plane at Heathrow, Thomas found himself alone in London and so had to beg for money for food. His situation deteriorated rapidly.  “Having nowhere to lay your head is one of the scariest things in the world,” he says.  “In a country where it’s cold and raining, what do you do? When I landed in London, my first thought was to go and jump in the Thames.”

Luckily for Thomas he was helped by Prisoners Abroad.

“Prisoners Abroad is such a great organisation to be part of – there aren’t many places where the work you do saves lives, changes lives and opens doors into a new future.  With support from CAF Venturesome we will be able to continue making a real difference for so many people.”

Pauline A Crowe, Chief Executive

MOVING ON TO TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT


Thomas was then connected with Old Spike Roastery and its sister company Change Please. Their founders believe that the nation's love of coffee is so strong - it could be just what we need to end homelessness once and for all.  Both social enterprises generate income from selling coffee to train and employ people who have been affected by homelessness.

Thomas began by working part-time at Old Spike Roastery and now works full-time in the new café and has a Change Please coffee cart in London’s Borough Market and Victoria Market. He earns the London Living Wage, has a flat, paid holidays and plans for the future.

He even has his own blend of Change Please coffee, "Tom's Blend", sold in Sainsbury's all over the country. He says he now knows what happiness feels like for the first time in years.

"The CAF Venturesome loans for Old Spike Roastery and Change Please have been invaluable in allowing us to scale our businesses and help more people."

Cemal Ezel, Founder, Old Spike Roastery and Change Please

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