An award winning south Belfast cafe is preparing to give away its profits to local charities who focus on helping the global poor. Five charities have been shortlisted, and now customers at Common Grounds café on University Avenue will decide which two should share next year’s profits from the popular coffee shop.
Voting has been taking place at the fair trade café in the Holylands area, with customers dropping a token coffee bean into their chosen charity’s cup every time they buy a food or drink.
The final vote will take place on the Big Charity Give Away night this Wednesday, when the selected charities have five minutes to pitch for their cause in front of customers and supporters, who will then cast a vote.
The charities nominated are Barefeet Theatre, Concern Worldwide, Camara Education, Serve and Partners Relief.
In the past nine years since it has opened, Common Grounds has given away almost £56,000 to local charities, who work at helping vulnerable people in some of the world’s poorest places. Last year, four charities were selected to share the café’s profits. They will each receive over £1,000 at the event.
Phil King, one of the directors at Common Grounds said: “What we are attempting to do is engage with the local community – customers, residents, students and people who work in the area – to get them to think globally. And giving away all our annual profits to charity certainly makes people think.
“At Common Grounds, we do a lot within the community, hosting a friendship club for people who are new to Belfast, and organising a free slap-up dinner for people who are alone at Christmas. But we also focus on those who are vulnerable in other parts of the world. We hope that as we think globally and act locally that lives will be enriched and inspired by what we have created here.”