Sept 2013, Craig White died of a heroin overdose in a car park in Cardiff, he was the brother of Risha Lancaster, one of the Coffee4Craig founders, Coffee4Craig began as a reaction to his death and a desire to make the world a little better for those who find themselves on the streets. Risha and Hendrix Lancaster started giving out coffee on the streets of Manchester that same month and it grew from there.
The demand for hot drinks went above and beyond the initial expectation of Risha and Hendrix and they felt a calling into the homelessness sector. With a small group of volunteers and supporters starting to grow, we developed an outdoor 'street kitchen' three evenings a week in Piccadilly Gardens. Coffee4Craig also began to help rough sleepers with advice and access to hostels and other services. With a growing dedicated team of amazing volunteers, we are all working for the same goal...to improve the situation for people who are homeless and to work towards ending rough sleeping.
Coffee4Craig and Lifeshare, along with CAN, started the Coalition of Relief Network to create a forum for grassroots charities and organisations to work together and support each other in providing a better service for rough sleepers. This fed into the Manchester Homelessness Partnership and the first Manchester Homelessness Charter.
Coffee4Craig begins running a larger 'food bank' in Salford to support people who are living in poverty and those who are at risk of becoming homeless.
We also rolled out our 'education is key' program, this means we get to work with young people to educate on the issues surrounding homelessness, food poverty and mental health. This program has been really successful and we have been invited to many local schools, universities and centres for further education.
Coffee4Craig partnered with Centre Point North and moved the three days a week 'street kitchen' to a seven day a week indoor drop-in centre with other homelessness charities Vow and Myriad.
2017 - 2018
Our services have expanded again and we are working with Manchester City Council for the third year running to provide Cold Weather relief, an outreach service supporting the issues surrounding New Psychoactive Substances (spice) and engaging with more and more business partners around Manchester.
Coffee4Craig has continued to develop it's service's and are now in the process of expanding into the social enterprise sector to provide a more sustainable financial future to protect the vital work we do until, hopefully, one day it is not required.