from Change Please!
The coffee, which won Great Taste Awards 2018, will see Virgin Trains expand its range in the
onboard shop to include a Flat White, and introduce a new freshly brewed filter blend in
First Class. In addition, Customers who bring along a reusable cup will benefit from 20p discount
on their coffee.
Launched in 2015 with the support of Virgin StartUp, Change Please puts 100% of its profits
towards reducing homelessness. They employ people without a place to live, provide full barista
training, pay the Living Wage and support with housing, bank accounts and mental wellbeing.
Change Please will use their profits generated from their contract with Virgin Trains to train more
baristas. It is estimated around 107 homeless people will be trained each year, as a result of
the partnership. Virgin Trains will work with Change Please to include successful trainees in their
recruitment process, to offer them a chance to use their new skills in a role with Virgin Trains.
In the last three years, Change Please has trained more than 84 people and expanded to 32
sites across London and Manchester. Their presence in Manchester will expand further with
some profits from onboard coffee sales directed towards funding sites in the city.
Virgin Trains will use Change Please coffee beans to brew the one million cups it sells onboard
each year, along with the countless cups poured in First Class. The beans, which are Rainforest
Alliance certified, are carefully selected by master roasters and Virgin Trains to create a unique
blend that has been taste tested by Virgin Trains customers.
In a further step to help tackle homelessness, Virgin Trains is encouraging its people to report
rough sleeping at stations on its route to Change Please who will reach out and offer them
Cemal Ezel, founder of Change Please, said: “We’re thrilled Virgin Trains has chosen
Change Please to be their coffee provider, demonstrating their commitment to tackling the growing
problem of homelessness. Not only does our partnership raise public awareness of this issue
but with 100 percent of our sale profits going into our training programme, customers are literally
changing lives with the simple gesture of buying a cup of coffee, every time they travel. What’s
more, because our coffee is an award-winning blend, they don’t have to compromise on quality.
So, they can sit back, relax and help change the world.”
Sarah Copley, Executive Director of Commercial at Virgin Trains, said: “Coffee is a customer
favourite and we're excited to be working with Change Please who produced this unique blend
especially for Virgin Trains. This ethically sourced coffee gives something back to everyone
involved in the process from the farming of beans to the first sip in the customer's cup.
Change Please share our values – they put people at the heart of everything they do and make
a great tasting coffee that our customers will love. We’re proud to be partnering with them to
tackle homelessness - our new coffee range not only tastes good but will do good for the
communities along our route.”