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Published 7 December 2021
Law firm DAC Beachcroft is partnering with Change Please, the social enterprise which gives homeless people what it describes as ‘a fresh shot at life’. The firm is providing pro bono legal advice on a major business expansion, and employability workshops for its ‘trainees’.
Change Please has agreed a joint venture which will enable it to take over the AMT coffee chain, and thereby expand its high street presence to help more homeless people around the UK and increase revenue for its charitable foundation working to end homelessness. AMT sites are predominantly at hospitals, airports and train stations, making this perfect for Change Please because this is where homeless people also tend to spend time. DAC Beachcroft provided pro bono legal advice on the deal, led by London Corporate partner Matthew Darling.
The firm is also helping Change Please by running employability workshops on writing a CV and developing interviews skills, and culminating in a mock interview with volunteers from Royal Mail Group, a client partnering with DAC Beachcroft on this programme.
Launched with one coffee cart in Covent Garden in 2015, Change Please is an award-winning social enterprise, supporting people out of homelessness by providing therapy, training, support with housing and employment as baristas on its coffee carts or at its coffee roastery. 100% of the profits from the business go to its charitable foundation, working to end homelessness.
Change Please has grown dramatically, partnering with global businesses such as Virgin Atlantic, WeWork and David Lloyd. This summer it launched Driving for Change, providing rough sleepers with direct access to GP consultations, a mobile dentist, showers and haircuts through special buses sponsored by corporates including HSBC, Colgate and Mastercard.
Matthew Darling, Corporate partner in the London office said: “It’s been great to make use of our core legal skills to provide help to this outstanding social enterprise in its work to tackle homelessness. The AMT coffee chain deal will be a substantial expansion for Change Please and we were very pleased to work with their great in-house team and to provide advice to make the deal work really well.”
Lois Duguid, Head of Responsible Business said: “In all the years that I’ve been working with homelessness organisations, I can honestly say Change Please is probably the best I’ve worked with. Their ‘theory of change’ to tackle homelessness through employment instead of housing is really solid – I am so proud to be supporting them. And their coffee genuinely tastes great – ‘Good coffee doing good’ as their website says!”
Clare Walker, Senior Legal Advisor at Royal Mail Group said: “As one of the largest employers in the UK, we are delighted to be supporting Change Please and DAC Beachcroft on this innovative programme to help homeless people develop employability skills.”