On Wednesday 10 September, the award-winning Shoreditch coffee shop, Paper & Cup, will be opening every Wednesday evening for people in recovery from drug, alcohol and other addictions.(1) This will be Hackney’s first recovery café, a place better known for it’s pubs, bars and clubs.

“It’s brilliant. I’ll have a place to go and hang out in the evening which isn’t a boozer. I won’t be in some musty hall drinking bad coffee but will be able to see people I know who are in recovery, have a bit of a laugh and a more normal evening out.” Danny, (not his real name).

“These nights will be run by people in recovery but everyone’s welcome. We’re hoping to host some live music and build a nice community vibe where people feel no pressure to drink. We’re opening only on Wednesdays for now to see how it goes, but if it proves popular, we’ll look into opening on other nights.” @recoverypathway

The café will be offering its usual range of coffee and teas. An abstinence- based environment, customers who have been using drugs or drinking alcohol that day will be politely asked to leave and come next time.

Staffed by trained baristas who are in recovery, this is a way for them to contribute by helping others in recovery and the work experience they gain from running the café will help build their CV for when they’re ready to start looking for work.

“Getting to know the staff and the other volunteers and feeling valued and trusted and part of a team are things and feelings I had not experienced in a long time. The experience of work, learning new skills, showing up on time, having responsibility not just for yourself but as part of a team are all things that really only having a job – even an unpaid one – can teach you.” Alice, former Paper & Cup trainee (not her real name).

Former Paper & Cup trainees have gone on to find jobs or set up their own businesses.

SCT were recently awarded a grant from Comic Relief to support the development of their work with people in recovery from addictions.

1. Paper & Cup opened in 2012 and is a not-for-profit social enterprise cafe set up by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT). SCT is an East London charity providing practical help, support and training to people who have been homeless and suffering from addiction. It runs a drop in, rehabilitation hostel, personal development & training centre and a number of social enterprises to allow recovering addicts to gain work experience and training.
For interviews and high-res images, please email communications@sct.org.uk