Paper & Cup is a not-for-profit social enterprise book café in East London established by Spitalfields Crypt Trust. They provide work experience and employment training for the long-term unemployed as well as for people who are recovering from addictions. They also hold art exhibitions every two months, curated by local artists to raise funds for the charity.
In 2013, the café won a Lunch Business Grab & Go Innovation Award for being a ‘coffee shop with a difference’. The type of experience offered to those in recovery and in the work experience scheme range from customer service, barista skills through to managing budgets. This is helpful for those involved in the scheme to gain the necessary skills of becoming independent and self-sufficient in the workforce.
The café is open from 8am-6pm for visitors to Shoreditch High Street and in the night time it turns into an alcohol-free place for those in recovery. Providing cheap hot drinks and a place to socialise and make new friends. It works as a positive therapy for the recoverees as well as the café staff, who are also in recovery. Having this little haven is an important addition to the East End and it’s a thriving little spot in London with delicious cakes and treats.
The café is often visited by Russell Brand and has most recently received a visit by HRH The Duke of Cambridge where he heard about SCT’s work supporting those who find themselves homeless and recovering from addictions. As Steve Coles, CEO says; this visit has “really lifted and affirmed everyone”.