Canterbury Bistro helps the homeless

A Bistro in Canterbury has started a scheme which allows their customers to pre-pay for food that will be donated to charity.

Lily’s Bistro in Canterbury, has introduced the option for customers to come into store and buy either a hot chocolate, or a cup of soup for homeless people. The scheme began on Saturday 9th December and was introduced to help feed the homeless.

The business was set up as a social enterprise to try and provide a service to the community in Canterbury and surrounding areas.

Zoe Rodda, owner of Lily’s Bistro said, ‘This scheme was just another way of us trying to support the community by giving people an opportunity to ensure that rough sleepers have a hot drink or hot soup throughout the cold months.’

‘The public have been amazing and we’ve had a really great response to the scheme, so we hope that the rough sleepers will come in and use this space to get a hot drink when it’s cold outside.’



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The Bistro have currently donated just over 30 soups and hot drinks to Catching lives since the scheme began on Saturday. Zoe stated that they have had a really good response from their customers, she said ‘We’ve had a really great response on social media and we’ve donated just over 30 soups and hot drink just over the last few days.’

When asked what Catching Lives thought of the idea, she said ‘They’ve been really great, they’ve been really supportive and seemed on-board with the scheme right from the start.’

Lily’s Bistro works with a number of charities, including Artvark, who are a creative day service for adults with special needs. When asked if she thought that all businesses should do something similar to the scheme, Zoe said, ‘I think that all businesses should think about how they can support the local community, whether that be supporting rough sleepers, supporting the charities in Canterbury.’

She continued, ‘Whether that be employing people that have got learning disabilities or physical disabilities and just generally trying to think outside the box.’


Customers have invited the idea and have been purchasing the vouchers regularly. Zoe hopes that they will continue contributing, she explained that she has high hopes for the scheme and that as long as the homeless visit her store, then the scheme will be a success.

Check out Lily’s Bistro’s Facebook page for information on how to purchase vouchers


Watch the full interview here