Café on the Hill becomes first NHS-based Change Please café. @westlondonnhs

On Friday 2 November, West London NHS Trust’s Café on the Hill, on the St Bernard’s Hospital site opposite Three Bridges, officially launched its collaboration with Change Please, making it the first NHS-based Change Please café.

Free samples of the Change Please coffee and cake were on offer during the launch event to encourage more visitors to the Café.

Café on the Hill is run by vocational staff and service users. This provides our service users with the opportunity to learn transferable vocational skills and supports their recovery. Change Please is a social enterprise that provides barista skills, housing assistance, emotional support and a clear pathway to employment for the homeless. This collaboration enables the Trust to support the Change Please initiative in their work with the homeless.

Becky Lodge Head Occupation Therapy said: “There have been significant developments made within Café on the Hill over the last 18 months, with the introduction of healthier portions, non-sugar drinks and the health bar serving salads and freshly made baguettes daily. All of this has only been possible because of the dedication and hard work of the team, so I wish to add my special thanks to Mary, Ruth, Hazel and Charlotte for making all of this possible.

“I believe that the introduction of Change Please is the last piece of the puzzle and will help promote service users’ recovery far into the community.”

Tom Hayhoe, Chairman of West London NHS Trust added: “This is a great initiative and collaboration which provides similar positive outcomes for our service users and the Change Please clients. Our service users will benefit from receiving barista training as well as being able to sell award-winning coffee to increase visitors to the Café on the Hill.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Kier Group for their generous donation of materials and labour to refurbish the cafe, as part of their corporate responsibility to the local community. This included helping us develop the Health Bar to give more scope to offer a wider variety of healthy options.”

Cemal Ezel, Founder of Change Please said: “We are so proud to be working with the West London NHS Trust to provide coffee for such an incredible initiative. It proves that providing new skills and opportunities can really make a difference to people’s lives. We’ve chosen to do this with coffee, however, it can be replicated in a range of products and services to help support people back into society.”