Looking for a great place to enjoy a coffee and / or lunch? Want to avoid the large chains? Our Food for Thought series will offer you insight into cafés that provide good food and drink whilst helping others.

Crisis Skylight Cafe

Address: 64 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT
Open to the public: 8am  to 3pm Monday to Friday
Free WiFi is available.
Website: http://www.crisis.org.uk/pages/-crisis-skylight-london-cafe-62496.html

The Crisis Skylight cafe in London is a social enterprise that provides homeless people and ex-offenders customer service, food hygiene, food preparation, and barista training and qualifications. The aim is to give the trainees the skills and confidence they need to gain a job. Crisis Skylight Café works in close partnership with Switchback, a mentoring programme helping young offenders make real, long-lasting change after their release.

Crisis Skylight Cafe a social enterprise cafe training homeless people and young ex-offenders

A positive message on the board outside the cafe

Since the Crisis Skylight café opened more than 130 trainees have secured permanent employment. Currently two Crisis Skylight café trainees a month are gaining employment. – click here to tweet this! 

The spacious, light-filled café has been open for 10 years, and has recently been refurbished.

Food & Drink

All the food at Crisis Skylight café is made fresh on site daily by two experienced chefs and their trainees. By changing their menu daily the café encourages customers to join them for lunch on a regular basis.

Being a regular customer has its perks as with the cafe’s loyalty card scheme you can get free drinks!

Crisis Skylight Cafe a social enterprise cafe training homeless people and young ex-offenders

Photo: Crisis Skylight Cafe Blog: http://skylightcafe.tumblr.com/ask

What’s nearby?

Spitalfields City Farm


The Crisis Skylight café offers customers value for money food, as well as a way to help homeless people and young ex-offenders a chance to learn and develop the skills and experience they need to get a permanent job.

The staff are really friendly and the food and drinks are delicious. It’s really spacious and filled with light, and would be a good place to have a meeting or meet friends.

There’s a personal touch to the cafe, with the board changed daily to show customers what the specials are, and the names of the staff working that day.

Crisis Skylight Cafe a social enterprise cafe training homeless people and young ex-offenders

The staff update this board daily

For people who are not keen on donating to charities because you are not sure where the money goes, visiting a café like this one is one way of helping others as you can see and even speak to the people who are benefiting from your support.

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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