Café from Crisis is a similar initiative to what we are aiming to achieve set up in England (there are three: Oxford, London, and Newcastle). The café provides on-the-job training to members of Crisis Skylight. Crisis is a charity dedicated to ending homelessness. Such as with reoffending, Crisis has recognised that employment is often a major factor to people becoming homeless.
Café from Crisis offers a qualification in Food Safety Awareness, and one in Food Allergen Awareness meaning that each of the employees who move on from Café from Crisis have the qualifications needed to work in most hospitality roles.
Mark, the general manager, was kind enough to meet with me and answer all of my many questions about running a successful social enterprise. All of the food is prepared on site (apart from the bread) and is made from fresh, local ingredients. This café does not rely on its social motive to bring in the customers, it relies on the quality of its products and service. From my brief experience there this is something they are achieving. I was greeted with a friendly hello by every member of staff and the place was buzzing with people at 11am. When I commented on how busy it was, Mark responded saying: “yes, it has quietened down since the breakfast rush”.
Crisis clearly have a working formula here and I was really impressed with what I saw and so touched at how helpful Mark was when meeting me. So if anyone is ever down that way I would definitely recommend giving Café from Crisis a visit!