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Charlatans star Tim Burgess raises thousands serving coffee to help homeless people

Tim Burgess’ short stint as a barista at Paper Cup Coffee in Liverpool saw more than £2,000 in donations flood in with 311 coffees paid forward for people experiencing homelessness

The Charlatans Tim Burgess working as a barista to support homeless people

Tim Burgess has been a long-time supporter of Liverpool's Paper Cup Coffee. Image: Dan Jolly

A cafe supporting homeless people brewed up thousand of pounds in donations thanks to a famous new barista – The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess.

The musician and radio presenter spent a couple of hours making coffees and meeting customers at Paper Cup Coffee in Liverpool city centre on Tuesday (5 December) before The Charlatans’ gig in the city later that evening.

Burgess’ appearance at the cafe – which allows customers to pay it forward to buy hot drinks for homeless people – gave the charity behind the project a much-needed boost with more than £2,000 in donations and 311 coffees bought for people on the streets.

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It’s the second time Burgess – who famously starts the day on X/Twitter by asking his followers “Coffee?” – has tried his hand at being a barista in the cafe.

He said he welcomed the chance to “meet some friends for a coffee and draw attention to the shop” as well as seeing the charity’s “amazing work” up close and signing records and Christmas cards for fans.

“Pay it forward coffees are a beautiful thing,” Burgess said. “We saw what they mean to people while we were there.”

Paper Cup Coffee’s Michelle Langan said the support from The Charlatans star is a vital boost. As well as Burgess, customers were entertained with music from Seb Lowe who is supporting the band on tour.

“It’s amazing how Tim has taken our little charity to his heart,” said Langan, who Burgess described as “one of the heroes of Liverpool”. 

“He’s really a very passionate supporter of ours. For him to spread the awareness of our charity is really amazing for us.”

The Charlatans Tim Burgess working as a barista to support homeless people
Burgess (second right) said Paper Cup Coffee’s Michelle Langan (centre) was one Liverpool’s “heroes”. Image: Dan Jolly

The support comes at the end of a difficult year for Paper Cup Coffee.

As the Big Issue previously reported, the cafe was broken into three times in the space of just two weeks back in March and April. That meant the coffee shop lost takings from the till and was forced to close its doors for repairs to damage.

The impact of the break-ins plus the wider difficulties the hospitality sector is facing during the cost of living crisis has made it difficult to continue, Langan told the Big Issue.

“We’re struggling to stay open, the same as all hospitality are at the moment,” said Langan.

“It’s been a really, really difficult year and obviously we are struggling the same as everybody else with the increases in utility bills and the cost of everything going up. Then also there’s an impact on our customers as well because our customers haven’t necessarily got that extra disposable income to spend on going out and the paying it forwards and things like that.

The Charlatans Tim Burgess working as a barista to support homeless people
Tim Burgess signed records and Christmas cards for fans as well as service them a coffee. Image: Dan Jolly

“What we’re hoping is that some of the people who came in yesterday will have enjoyed the cafe and they’ll come back in.”

To support Paper Cup Coffee and pay it forward to buy a hot drink for a person experiencing homelessness, head here.

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