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Northumbria University’s new coffee shop is fighting Homelessness

It’s part of a new social enterprise initiative


Northumbria University's latest hospitality offering is serving up coffee, lunch and snacks but with a twist.

Offering a relaxed alternative vibe to our beloved Habita, located next door, The Greenhouse's aim is to take profits and reinvest them back into providing homeless people with employment as a fully trained barista.

Partnering with London based social enterprise Change Please, the idea has been spreading across universities.

In an Instagram post, they stated, "We’re so pleased to provide coffee for universities and have been hugely encouraged by the support of students. By working with universities who understand and support our mission, we can reach the change-makers of the future, ensuring long-term, sustainable change".

With homelessness and poverty coming to the attention of many of us particularly coming into the winter months, The Newcastle Tab spoke to Keldyne Marie Wilson, VP for Activities at Northumbria Students' Union.

She said she was excited for the opening of the new coffee shop and that they have really taken into account previous student feedback during this launch.

She told The Newcastle Tab: "The Greenhouse is Northumbria Students' Union brand new ethical, locally sourced, fresh and healthy option! A huge part of student feedback over the years has been the lack of availability of healthy options on campus, at an affordable price. We wanted to provide that for students, whilst also reflecting on our sustainability!"

Describing how the Greenhouse offers an alternative dimension to traditional campus Coffee, Wilson told The Newcastle Tab how The Greenhouse offers a relaxing place for students. She said: "It's an alternative space to breakaway from University, that has zero alcohol in the venue".

Adding on the strong focus on social responsibility, Wilson added that the money from the cafe is going straight back into the community.

She highlighted: "Every time you buy a cup of coffee in the Greenhouse, you're also investing in a great charity that supports the empowerment of the homeless community, by providing them with the opportunities to develop barista skills, in order to gain employment

"Because the SU only have internal commercial outlets, all profit made by our venues goes straight back into the student experience – societies, campaigns or even improvement of facilities".