Coffee@Colab

by Alex Lodge in Exeter, Devon, England

Coffee@Colab

Using coffee to provide opportunities to people in recovery, complex and challenging circumstances

by Alex Lodge in Exeter, Devon, England

We did it
On 9th September 2018 we successfully raised £2,090 with 26 supporters in 42 days

New stretch target

Our target will get us all the basics we need to set up our coffee endeavour and support volunteers in recovery to run it. The extra money, if we were lucky enough to get it, would help us buy comfy tables and chairs to make a cafe type environment to make our Atrium more comfortable for our visitors.


Colab Exeter is an integrated wellbeing and innovation hub that works in collaboration with agencies across sectors to strengthen local services and achieve positive whole community outcomes around homelessness, addiction, (re)offending, and health inequality.

At CoLab Exeter our main Atrium is visited approximately 1,300 times each month by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Our Atrium is a place that we want to be welcoming whether someone is visiting us to attend an Italian class, take part in our Women's Forum or to seek support in a time of crisis; like when someone finds themselves rough sleeping.

For over a year now, we have been running a successful drop-in every week that we call "The Exchange". The Exchange turns our Atrium in to a space where people who needs extra support can stop by and a professional will be on hand to help. We always have tea and coffee available to make this more relaxed.

Unfortunately our Atrium is not as comfortable as we would like. It feels more institutional than we would want and, frankly, the coffee we can afford is a bit rubbish!

We want to change our offer so that we can provide a comfy space -  nice chairs, welcoming atmosphere -  and we want to also serve nice coffee and provide an opportunity for people, who might struggle otherwise, to have some work experience. We want to create voluntary opportunities, provide training (in food hygiene, customer service etc) for people who may not get a chance otherwise.

We work with some of the most stigmatised groups - recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, offending backgrounds, experiencing ill mental health - who often struggle to gain work experience or have opportunities to use their time in a meaningful way.

Coffee@Colab will provide this opportunity.

We will invite donations for refreshments so that those who can afford it, can make a contribution, and the project can remain sustainable.

This is a modest project and we are looking primarily for the funds to get the ball rolling - a decent coffee pot, cups, milk jugs, trays, training. We need your help!

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