We are a Sanctuary Café

Buy 2 hot drinks and place 1 in our coffee ‘bank’

Reading City of Sanctuary has partnered with refugee support organisations to deliver a Coffee Bank Scheme which offers those seeking sanctuary in Reading the opportunity to access a drink and a light snack for free at participating cafes.

How does it work?

When a customer walks into a coffee shop instead of buying just one cup of coffee, they buy two or more. One for themselves and one for someone in need. The barista places a token representing the free coffee(s) in a container on the counter. The coffee can then be redeemed by beneficiaries of refugee support organisations by displaying a card issued.

Why does it matter to refugees?

Refugees, asylum seekers, are particularly vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. This is because in addition to economic hardship, they face barriers of language and culture, which may prevent them from taking part in social activities outside their home and/or community. Having the opportunity to access a free coffee provides an incentive and opportunity for newcomers to step outside of their comfort zone. Access to a coffee shop also provides clients with a place to study, meet new people and access free wireless connection.


  1. Sue on 21st January 2020 at 10:07 am

    Great idea, who issues the cards to people?
    And is there a whole list of cafes for Reading.

Posted in