Entertainment

Martin Kemp and Chris Evans help start a coffee shop against homelessness

Martin Kemp and Chris Evans are among the celebrities who helped found a new coffee shop in London that aims to end homelessness.

social Bite is fighting homelessness using members of the homeless community or those in a homeless situation, as well as through their Pay-It-Forward system.

Social Bite already has five coffee shops running across three cities in Scotland and opened its first location in London on 15 March.

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Chris Evans at the launch of Social Bite in London. The cafe operates a Pay-It-Forward system, where food, drinks and vouchers can be purchased for those in need, as well as hiring people from the homeless community (Ian West/PA)

Joining the opening ceremony with DJ Evans, 55, and actor and musician Kemp, 60, were attended by many famous faces such as Martin Compston, Kate Garraway, Matt Willis and Ashley Roberts.

Speaking at the launch, Evans said: “Having seen the work Social Bite does in Edinburgh, I was delighted to hear of the opening of their London coffee shop.

“London’s homelessness rate is at an alarmingly high level, especially since the pandemic and now the rising cost of living, it’s a very scary time.

“Thanks to charities like Social Bite, we have the opportunity to help and make a difference to those in need.”

The founder of Social Bite, Josh Littlejohn MBE, was also present.

The 35-year-old founded Social Bite as a small sandwich shop with Alice Thompson in 2012.

The idea evolved into a charity initiative to end homelessness after a homeless youth came to the store applying for a job.

Social Bite targets one in four of its employees who come from homelessness.

The cafe’s Pay-It-Forward system allows customers who are shopping for themselves to pre-purchase an additional meal or hot drink for the homeless to order later.

Musician and former Busted band member Willis, 38, said: “I’ve been inspired by Social Bite for a long time. I slept over in mid-December at Trafalgar Square at The World’s Best Sleep Place a few years ago, so I’m really excited to see this new cafe being a permanent London fixture.

“Witnessing their incredible work forces you to rethink how lucky we are to be able to have a roof and the money to buy something as simple as a sandwich. I would encourage locals and tourists to drop by. ”

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Matt Willis and Ashley Roberts at the launch of Social Bite’s first UK coffee shop on The Strand in central London (Ian West/PA)

Social Bite’s Edinburgh cafe has previously received visits from Hollywood stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney.

Other famous guests include the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Littlejohn said: “We are delighted to be able to open a new coffee shop in central London. It’s an incredible milestone for all of us here at Social Bite.

“There are a lot of great charities already operating in London, but we truly believe our social impact program can change lives and offer something unique. To help the lives of thousands of people, we are delighted to bring this change to the streets of London. ”

In 2019, Littlejohn also created The World’s Big Sleepout – a global campaign to raise awareness about homelessness.

The campaign has seen 60,000 members of the public fall asleep in 52 cities around the world and is backed by Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren.

The new Social Bite cafe is located on The Stand near Covent Garden.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/martin-kemp-and-chris-evans-help-launch-coffee-shop-fighting-homelessness-41449310.html Martin Kemp and Chris Evans help start a coffee shop against homelessness

Fry Electronics Team

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