Starbucks UK and Harry Kane Foundation invite the nation to ‘kick off a conversation over a coffee’

“This initiative will get more human connections going, creating special moments through something we all love, whether it is football or a good cup of coffee!” 

- Harry Kane

As human beings, we naturally thrive on being social and connecting with others around us. This is where a new partnership between Starbucks UK and Harry Kane Foundation (HKF) comes in. Launching across the UK this June, the goal is simple: to bring people together by kicking off a conversation over a coffee to support mental wellbeing.  

According to the Centre of Social Justice, loneliness in Britain is worse than it’s ever been. Almost six in 10 adults – a whopping 31.4 million people – feel lonely most, often or some of the time.  

The research also found that the younger generation are the loneliest, with seven out of 10 of 18-24 year-olds saying they feel lonely, compared to under half of those aged 65 and over. If anything’s clear, it’s that the UK’s loneliness epidemic needs to be tackled – and sooner rather than later.  

Across the next 12 months, Starbucks UK is donating £500,000 to Harry Kane Foundation which is a restricted fund under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund (Registered charity no: 1099682) to support the charity’s work through awareness, education and empowerment initiatives on behalf of national charities.  

Founded on World Mental Health Day in October 2022, the Harry Kane Foundation launched with a mission to transform a generation’s thinking about mental health. Spearheaded by the England football Captain and Bayern Munich striker, the foundation promotes habits that build psychological fitness (mental resilience and emotional wellbeing) and provides practical support to the public through mental health services.

The foundation is partnering with Starbucks UK to promote the longstanding culture of connecting over a coffee and to tackle the stigma that surrounds loneliness.  

Unique coffee cup sleeves and stickers will act as real-life conversation starters in store, encouraging customers and partners alike to connect with a stranger, their family or friends over their shared passions as the nation comes together to celebrate the summer of sport. Plus, London’s Brompton Road Starbucks store will be transformed into a Connection Café over the summer, inviting customers to come in and talk.  

“Small talk really can make a big difference when it comes to our mental health and happiness,” Harry Kane says. “Spending even a short time together talking can make you feel good in that moment, but also leave a memory that lasts. Remembering we are not on our own is a big boost to our wellbeing.” 

“This initiative through my Foundation with Starbucks UK will get more human connections going, creating special moments through something we all love, whether it is football or a good cup of coffee!”  

“Spending even a short time together talking can make you feel good in that moment, but also leave a memory that lasts. Remembering we are not on our own is a big boost to our wellbeing.”

- Harry Kane

For over 25 years, Starbucks has woven itself into the fabric of the communities it serves in the UK, offering customers a ‘Third Place’ - a warm and welcoming space that feels like an extension of their homes in stores and beyond. Starbucks is also committed to its partners (employees) through a range of initiatives that enable them to look after and improve their mental health. This includes The Partner Life support network – a free and confidential employee assistance programme offering counselling sessions if they need them. In addition to providing mental health awareness training to all store managers, Starbucks UK also offers its partners Bupa private medical insurance, which comprises of full mental health support.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Harry Kane Foundation to kick off this important conversation,” says Alex Rayner, General Manager at Starbucks UK.  

“Just like sport, the ritual of coffee is a powerful way to connect with others. Together with our passionate and trusted green apron partners, we are making every Starbucks store a place where people can come together share their stories and connect over a coffee”.  

The Starbucks UK donation to Harry Kane Foundation isn’t the only initiative you can expect to see as part of the campaign. When heading into your local store* this summer, keep an eye out for the number of ways the partnership is coming to life.  

With plenty more chances to kick off a conversation over a coffee, keep an eye out for more updates to the partnership throughout the year.  

Together with mental health support service Shout, Harry Kane Foundation has created the following tips for scoring more connections and boosting your circle of friends:

· Kick off a conversation. Small talk with someone new can be the start of something deeper and more meaningful. Sharing aspects of your life like hobbies and experiences creates common ground, while listening actively shows a genuine curiosity about others. 

· Join clubs or groups. Becoming a member of a club related to your interests is a great way to meet likeminded people. Participate in hobby groups, sports teams, book clubs – whatever you most love. 

· Make new rituals. Creating new rituals together like going for walks in the park or joining a class together are a great way to meet up with friends and family more often. 

· Sign up for a course. Whether it’s mastering a new skill like a language or perfecting your baking abilities, learning something new is a great way to expand your circle. 

· Get a furry friend. Studies show that our furry friends can be a great motivator and have a positive impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. As well as making us feel valued, they are a great way to bond with fellow pet lovers. 

· Volunteer. Offer a helping hand to those around you - whether it be offering your neighbour a favour or supporting your local community – is a great way to meet people who share similar values and interests. 

· Be true to yourself. Genuine connections are built on authenticity, so don't be afraid to be yourself.  

If you’re feeling lonely, sharing your thoughts can really help. Shout Volunteers are available 24/7 to listen and support. Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258’ to start a conversation today.

*Participating stores

Walthamstow, London 

Tottenham Hale, London 

Bluewater, London 

Tower Place, London 

Westfield Stratford, London 

Brompton Road, London 

Neville Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne  

North Concourse, Leeds 

Mount Street, Manchester  

Bullring, Birmingham 

Terms and Conditions

Starbucks will donate £500,000 to The Harry Kane Foundation, which is a restricted fund under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund (Registered charity no: 1099682). 

Limited edition cup sleeves subject to availability, whilst stocks last. 10,000 sleeves available at selected stores only. 

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