A Peckham coffee shop received an unusual guest last Saturday when the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand popped in for a cuppa.
Dr Yongyuth Yuthawong visited Old Spike Roasters as part of a cultural event organised by the School of Social Entrepreneurs.
The new coffee company is a social enterprise that provides jobs and housing for homeless people, as well as mental health support, rehabilitation and occupational therapy.
This business plan attracted the attention of the Thai government, who are attracted to setting up similar ventures in the south-east Asian state.
Cemal Ezel, co-founder of Old Spike Roasters, said: “We’re really pleased to get the recognition of the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and are glad we can be a source of inspiration for their plans in their own country.
“What we’re doing is immediately lifting people out of homelessness. For six months we provide people with a job here, and during that time we offer support and training to help our beneficiaries secure longer-term work.
“We also provide housing, which means our beneficiaries are not homeless anymore all while roasting specialty coffee.”