Give-away coffee scheme takes off

Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy

EXPERIENCED barista Richard Hennessy is used to selling coffee, but now he’s planning to give it away – under a new scheme which he hopes will help those in need.

Richard heard about the global ‘suspended coffee’ movement and thought it sounded a good idea: “I hoped someone would bring it to Sheffield. Then I thought ‘why wait for someone else to do it?’ So I set up a Facebook page.”

Within days the page had more than 250 supporters and another 200 on Twitter. Richard is now working to promote the scheme and get it off the ground.

The principle is that a customer can walk into any participating coffee shop and buy two drinks: one for themself and one ‘suspended’ – which is then available to someone who cannot afford to buy their own.

“I’m hoping that once the movement is established, food banks and homeless support groups can tap into the suspended coffee members, and local people can help each other,” says Richard, who now works as a hypnotherapist.

“Being part of a global movement means that there is also the potential to tap into the suspended coffee app that is in development – which will list all participating coffee shops.”

He already has offers of help from like-minded Sheffielders; donations include a website which is currently under construction.

Richard has spent much of this week meeting the owners of coffee shops around the city. He is hoping to get ten signed up by the end of the month.

And locals have clearly been inspired by his enthusiasm: Sheffield’s first suspended coffee was donated at Piccolo, London Road, on Friday, before the scheme is even officially launched.

Details: Facebook - Suspended Coffee Sheffield or @suspendedsheff

Lesley Draper