Glasgow coffee roaster donates 1,000 coffees to Pay It Forward scheme supporting people experiencing homelessness

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A support worker at one of Scotland’s most prominent homelessness charities has highlighted the ‘life-saving’ potential of conversation for some of the nation’s most vulnerable people ahead of this year’s Pay It Forward Day.  

Euan Brock, a support and development worker at Social Bite, was speaking as leading Scottish coffee roaster Matthew Algie donated more than 1,000 coffees to the charity’s Pay It Forward scheme, which provides food and hot drinks to people experiencing homelessness, to mark the global event (Sunday, April 28). 


The coffees will be provided through the Pay It Forward scheme across Social Bite’s three Scottish locations in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.  


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Brock has been with Social Bite, the high-profile charity that provides homes, jobs, food, and support to people experiencing homelessness, for three years. He explained how the number of people the organisation supports is rising, with more Scots facing challenging situations – from rough sleeping and living in temporary/emergency accommodation to facing the imminent threat of becoming homeless – as the impact of food poverty, housing emergencies in Scotland’s major cities, the cost-of-living crisis, and rising energy prices are felt.  


Social Bite’s Pay It Forward scheme provides hot food and drinks to thousands of people in need, which Brock says can prove crucial in developing trust and providing a sense of inclusion for people who may have experienced traumatic events.


He said: “The biggest challenge I see at the moment is a shortage of adequate housing across the whole of the UK. Toward the end of 2023 Edinburgh and Glasgow declared a housing emergency with more councils following this year. This means more people are finding themselves homeless and declaring it with councils, but there is a lack of permanent and temporary homes, as well as hotels/B&B and emergency accommodation leaving people with no option but to sleep rough or sofa surf with friends or family if they are able to. 


“The Pay it Forward scheme can support someone by providing food and drinks, but it also allows us to build a trusting relationship with people accessing the service and then can go on to support them going forward. 


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“Conversation and inclusion is hugely important in society and a major part of Social Bite. Isolation and loneliness are silent killers and research suggests it can be as damaging to someone's health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Through Social Bite and Pay it Forward we can welcome people with a smile, a hot meal, and a simple ‘How are you today?’ – it can make someone's day that hasn't spoken to anyone and been ignored on the street. A simple ‘How are you?’ can save lives.”


The Pay It Forward Scheme has proved a gateway to thousands of people accessing support with housing applications, benefits applications, and other support services they are entitled to, as well as referrals into Social Bite’s Jobs First programme. Others have entered volunteering programmes. 


Mel Swan, Social Bite’s Commercial and Operations Director, said: “Pay It Forward is part of the fabric of Social Bite. Food and drink helps people at their most vulnerable and leads to other support towards a more stable position in life. It all starts by talking.


“Matthew Algie’s donation of 1,000 cups of coffee will help hundreds of people across Scotland in the coming weeks. Each one offers the possibility of connection and building a relationship that can help someone experiencing homelessness get the support they need. 


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“Paying it forward is a small act that can mean a lot and brighten someone’s day. It also plays a big part in our ultimate goal of ending homelessness.” 


Paul Chadderton, Managing Director at Matthew Algie, said: “Social Bite tirelessly works to address one of Scotland’s most pressing issues, homelessness, and is one of our most important partners. This donation will help kick off conversations that can make a difference, as well as providing a moment of enjoyment at a difficult time for those the charity supports.


“More importantly, we want to highlight the importance of Paying It Forward to people across Scotland. A small gesture can make a huge difference to those who need it most.” 


People can pay it forward at every one of our Social Bite’s locations to help someone experiencing homelessness. You can also Pay It Forward online here.

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Established 160 years ago this year, Glasgow based coffee roaster Matthew Algie supplies high-quality coffee to partners across Scotland, the UK, and Ireland. For more information visit

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