Change Please

Launched in 2015 with a coffee cart in Covent Garden, Change Please are an award-winning coffee company with a difference; a social enterprise supporting people out of homelessness through life changing coffee.

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Written by: Alcumus
16th June

They provide training, employment and support with housing, finances and therapy to help people experiencing homelessness move forward. 100% of the profits of their award-winning coffee goes towards trying to end homelessness.

Since it began, Change Please has helped hundreds of people through selling their coffee, opening dozens of new sites and partnerships along the way.

Change Please continues to grow rapidly, with new global partnerships and sites launching. To make sure they’re doing the right thing for their people and business, and ease some pressure on Managing Director Julian Burnham, they looked for external support for Health and Safety (H&S) and HR management.

Julian explained “Alcumus PSM’s personal approach to both H&S and HR consultancy seemed a perfect fit. Since starting to work together in 2018, Alcumus PSM has supported us on several matters, but most importantly navigating the Coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020.”

Making safe working environments

Alcumus PSM H and S Consultant, Nicole Jackson has worked in H&S for 10 years and has extensive food safety experience. As Change Please’s dedicated H and S Consultant she works closely with Giorgia Stara, Retail Manager, on all H&S issues.

Initially, Alcumus PSM worked with Change Please to build a H&S policy, tailored to their needs. A big factor in this was to make sure all sites were covered and create a strong H&S foundation for all of them. Building on this foundation, Nicole has continued to support and advise on general H&S management, report writing and most recently help them become COVID Secure.

Giorgia commented,

“It’s important to us that all employees and customers are safe. With an expert just a phone call away, our minds have been put at ease. The advice provided is always practical and clear. Nicole doesn’t just give us an answer for the issue at hand, but also takes other factors into account. This allows us to work towards best practice and look at the bigger picture.”

The relationship between Nicole and the team at Change Please has allowed them to build a robust H&S culture within the company. They have collaborated on many projects, including producing a H&S gap analysis and completing the subsequent actions identified. Working together with Nicole’s expert support made sure all tasks were appropriately prioritised, completed correctly, and helped increase internal knowledge of H&S best practice.

As Change Please continues to expand, Alcumus PSM will continue to support and provide advice including assisting in setting up new retail locations.

Looking after their people

Melanie Darlington, Senior HR Consultant, works closely with Change Please to manage their people requirements.

Through regular monthly calls Melanie makes sure she is kept up to date with what’s happening within the business and is on hand to help with any issues which may have arisen. The relationship Melanie has with Julian and the team allows her to offer solutions to match the business’ objectives, advising them with their best interests at heart.

Using her 20 years’ of experience, Melanie has worked with Change Please to ensure they have all the necessary documents and policies in place, advised on several people management issues, process and policy updates.

Melanie explains:

“The heart of this company is to help people and that’s clear from how they use our HR advice. By initially providing them with an overview of what they can do legally we then explore how they can use this and do what’s best for their people. It’s really great to see a business taking this approach.”

Surviving the coronavirus pandemic

Change Please, like many other businesses in the UK, was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Alcumus PSM has been on hand to help whenever needed. Not only helping Change Please look after their people as best they can, but also helping protect the business for the future.

Julian explains:

“Whether it be employment law advice or assisting with a COVID-19 Risk Assessment, our dedicated consultants have been only a phone call or email away. This advice helped us adjust how we operated which was invaluable in navigating the pandemic. With the advice and guidance PSM offers, we are confident that we are doing the right thing for employees and customers. Without their ongoing support responding to the pandemic would’ve been be so much harder. Their advice enabled us to support our employees as best we can and protect Change Please, and for that we are forever grateful.”