A charity founded by two firefighters for frontline workers has set up a crowdfunding page to raise £50,000 in order to create a community hub in Dorchester for ‘frontline heroes’. Frontline Coffee was set up by Matt Broxton and Tom Taylor as the pair felt all key workers involved in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic ‘deserved a decent cup of coffee’. The pair handed out the equivalent to over 20,000 cups of coffee to people on the frontline including nurses, police officers and paramedics from sales of its specially-made brew during lockdown.
Frontline Coffee has also raised over £20,000 for charities including TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity, NHS Charities Together, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and The Fire Fighter Charity after selling more than six tons of coffee, which is roasted on a grand scale, and available in ‘coffee bags’, in the south west of England.
Now the firefighter entrepreneurs want to raise an eye-watering £50,000 to bring their activities into one central hub to increase its fundraising efforts and be in a position to provide more support to workers on the frontline. The duo plan to open an on-site Frontline Coffee café with gym facilities as well as using the area as a place to hold free workshops for mental health support. They also want to offer coaching and retraining options for frontline leavers to ensure they can continue to flourish in secondary or new careers.
Matt, 28, who left his job at the London Fire Brigade to focus fully on Frontline Coffee, said:
“We want to create a hub that supports our frontline heroes. Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, they need our support now more than ever. We are two former and serving firefighters who have all too often seen colleagues needing extra support to navigate the daily challenges working on the frontline can bring.
There are amazing charities and support networks available through the place of work, however, it can be difficult to seek help in this way. The support can sometimes feel disjointed to the day-to-day running of a shift, ward or station. This is where the hub will play a part. It will be a place to come and exercise, have a coffee and become part of a community of likeminded people who can support each other.
The power of a cuppa is huge. There is so much value in social and in-formal conversations, they often provide the space needed for colleagues to process challenging situations. All of our staff will be mental health first aid trained. This enables us to help, support and guide people who may need it. We want to create a relaxing environment not only for frontline heroes but also for the local community.”
Tom, 28, who is still in active service with the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said:
“We are a complete non-profit company and 100% of our profits go to frontline charities. For this reason, we have no budget for expansion unless we reduced the amount we donate to charity, something we are not willing to do. That is why we need help to allow us to grow, raise more money and directly support frontline workers. The £50,000 will allow us to move into a unit that will give us the space we need to create a supportive, fundraising hub and become self-sufficient and not require outside funding meaning we will be able to support frontline workers and frontline charities more effectively.”
To support Tom and Matt’s crowdfunding campaign visit their CrowdFunder page.
By purchasing Frontline Coffee’s First Responder coffee you will be raising funds to help TASC continue providing mental, physical and financial wellbeing services to the UK’s ambulance community. You can purchase your coffee on TASC’s online shop.Purchase a First Responder coffee and help raise funds for TASC