DCU Student brings Suspended Coffee to Ireland

Fancy doing your bit for the less-well off in society while buying a coffee or lunch in your favourite café? Thanks to the work of Dublin teacher and DCU student Aoife Ryan in bringing an international social project to Ireland, you can now do just that.

Ryan established the ‘Suspended Coffee Ireland’ initiative earlier this year after reading on Twitter about the success of the project in other countries. The idea is simple – when a customer is purchasing coffee at a participating café they can ask to also purchase a ‘suspended coffee’; that is, one for someone who couldn’t otherwise afford one.

So far, 32 cafés and shops nationwide have signed up to participate in the initiative, including Caffee Italiano, Brioche Café, Soulful Bistro and MochaBeans Kiosk (Pearse Street) in Dublin. While participating shops will always hold a certain amount of Suspended Coffees, if many remain unclaimed at the end of each month, the shops will donate their value to charities such as the Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and St Vincent de Paul.

Founder Ryan has worked at a Dublin school for autistic children for the past 11 years and is currently in her second year of studying Education and Training part-time at DCU. She says the idea originally appealed to her as “when I’m out in the city and I see people on the streets I prefer to buy them food or a drink rather than give money”.

The socially-innovative student has previously volunteered with the ISPCC and youth organisation Foróige yet remains modest about how her work may improve the lives of others. As for the future of Suspended Coffee Ireland, she just hopes that word will continue to spread and more shops will come on board. “I’d love to have two – four coffee shops in each county, maybe more on board in the bigger cities”, she says.

For a full list of participating cafés, or to find out more about Suspended Coffee Ireland, visit their Facebook page or find them on Twitter @SuspenCoffeeIre.

Sarah Bermingham

Image Credit: Raeky via WikimediaCommons.org

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