Make someone’s day with a cup of coffee.
That is the message from BASH (Brighouse and Surrounding Homeless) in its plight to help society’s most vulnerable.
And with a new scheme, Suspended Coffee, launched across the town, the group is on its way to doing just that.
Suspended Coffee is a pre-paid coffee, drink or food item purchased at a participating outlet, which can later be claimed by someone who needs it. Whatever the reason.
And the group, with a mantra of ‘paying it forward’ is now on a mission to encourage people to get involved, either by purchasing an extra coffee, or coming forward to claim one.
Liz Phillips, 59, a volunteer with the group, said the inspiration behind the scheme was Manchester-based Coffee4Craig, a charity which works to help homeless people.
“We thought it would be a great idea if we had something like it in Brighouse,” Liz said.
“Its been marvellously supported and we’re getting a really good response from people, but we really want to encourage people on low incomes, homeless people, vulnerable people and people over the age of 70 to claim their cup.
“We’re trying to get people to come down and get a coffee, it’s getting people out and about and giving people the chance to feel like someone cares.
“We all have a time in life where we don’t have much money and we hope the Brighouse people will continue to support us.”
Pamela McNulty, 61, added: “Please come down and take advantage of the scheme.”
There are currently three participating cafes in Brighouse - North’s Seasonal Kitchen on Commercial Street, Overton Bridge End and Filenas on Briggate.
Just pop into any of the cafes and purchase two coffees - one for you and one suspended.
And it’s just as easy to accept - the coffee is yours when you need it.
Tony Ellis, owner of North’s Seasonal Kitchen, said: “I support a couple of charities, but this one really caught my eye and I thought ‘I like this idea’. It’s such a small thing, but it means so much.”
BASH has also received help from kind-hearted Rastrick High School pupils who have donated spare food from their school to the group’s outreach programme.
Dedicated Year 9 students Alice Lambert, Emily Eve, Gigi Hinchliffe, Eve Ingle, Molly Dodson masterminded the project.
They said: “Each Friday, a volunteer from BASH collects our unsold food from school and along with other volunteers, distributes it to the homeless and hungry in the local area.
“This has been successful for a number of weeks now and we have received excellent feedback and learnt that we have helped more than 100 people in Leeds and many others in our surrounding area.
“In the near future we plan to contact surrounding schools and recruit other schools to join us to turn their otherwise wasted food into food that could help many people.
“Our movement has now fed many hungry people and in the future could help feed many more.”
Alison Sykes, from BASH, said: “I am amazed at what the group have achieved, it is nice to know the next generation are thinking about how they can improve the quality of someone else’s life and we hope they can continue
working with us.”