Cafes launch Christmas drive to fund hot drinks for the homeless scheme in Cardiff

Coffee drinkers can donate their fully stamped loyalty cards at Brodies’ cafes to help the homeless this Christmas

Chief operator Ian holds the popular hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and says, “You got this.”
Image Credits: Shubhangi Dua

Independent coffee shop, Brodies Cabin, and its sister branch, Bricks & Mortar, are launching their Christmas drive this week to collect funds for their homeless scheme. These funds will allow the homeless to customise drinks with extra toppings of choice in-store. 

Chief operator and owner, Ian Brodie, 36, is encouraging people in Cardiff to donate £2.50 per drink or a fully stamped Brodies loyalty card, to donate free hot drinks to homeless people.

Ian said that caramel lattes and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows are quite popular among homeless people visiting his coffee shops. 

The cafes have served more than 2,000 hot drinks as part of the homeless scheme this year. The owner said, “We want to make Brodies a comfortable place for them. Some people have been very generous with their hot drink donations this year. As a result, we served nearly 10 to 15 customised drinks each day.”

 The most rewarding experience was when she came back and bought a hot drink with her first paycheck

Ian Brodie
All pay-it-forward donations are marked up on a board behind the counter at Bricks & Mortar. Image: Ian Brodie

Brodies is not attached to any charity. Ian who marks the donations on a board behind the counter, launched the project three years ago. “We don’t refuse to serve drinks if the donations are exhausted. Instead, we’ll serve simple tea and coffee to the homeless,” said the philanthropist. 

Ian talks about a homeless woman who came for hot drinks every day, suddenly didn’t visit for four months. He said, “It was the most rewarding experience when she came back and bought a hot drink with her first paycheck. It turned out, she was housed and found a job.”

Barista Alisia Leeson, 22, said that her experience at the cafe has been life-changing. She says, “Brodies has created a community atmosphere for the homeless, staff and customers too. It’s fulfilling to see a homeless person sober up in front of you and pay for their hot drink.”

Cardiff Council’s services for rough sleeping:

  1. The Salvation Army Bus Project 
  • access to emergency care and support,
  • food and hot drinks,  
  • access to emergency accommodation

Availability: Monday to Thursday (6.30pm – 9pm); Sunday (5.30pm – 8pm)

  1. Huggard Day Centre
  • free and low cost meals,
  • free clothing,
  • laundry facilities, 
  • personal hygiene facilities

Availability: Every day of the year