Caffè Nero and Leo announced as Penny for London’s first retail partners


Caffè Nero and Leon have today been announced as Penny for London’s first retail partners.

Scholars from the Mayor’s Music Fund, one of Penny for London’s beneficiary charities, joined pupils from Pooles Primary School in Finsbury Park in a live music performance at Caffè Nero’s Islington branch, where the announcement was made.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, unveiled ‘Penny for London’ at the end of October – a charitable giving initiative, devised by the Mayor’s Fund for London, which is set to transform the life chances of young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds all over the capital.

By registering their contactless debit or credit card, Londoners can donate one penny, or more if they wish, every day they travel on London Underground, bus, tram, DLR, London Overground, and National Rail services that accept Oyster.

From today the scheme has been extended to Caffè Nero and Leon, so every time Londoners buy their morning coffee or lunch they can donate a tiny amount to young people in Greater London less fortunate than themselves.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is fantastic that two of Britain’s much loved retailers have committed to sign up for Penny for London and I hope many more will follow their lead. With people carrying around less and less cash there has been a real impact on old fashioned charity collection tins. This idea makes it so simple for people to give back. It is great news for London’s youth charities, all of whom are doing great things for the capital’s kids.”

Caffè Nero is one of the capital’s most recognizable coffee house, boasting roughly 200 stores in the Greater London region and serving roughly 35m customers each year. Both retailers will be throwing their support behind the landmark scheme, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, with various in-store promotions.

James Flett, partnerships manager at Caffè Nero, said: “Supporting the communities we serve has always been an aim of ours and with Penny for London we are able to make this something our customers can share in as well. And by matching donations I hope we can make a real difference together.”

Five new registrants to the Penny for London scheme, between 1-21 December, will win a year’s worth of coffee from Caffè Nero. Ten runners up will win a £50 Caffè Nero voucher.

Every penny donated will be used by Penny for London to benefit young Londoners via the Mayor’s Fund for London charities and other not-for-profits.

Leon, who serve naturally fast food to thousands of Londoners all day, every day, will match all donations made in their restaurants in December. Leon now has 16 outlets in the capital, and will be opening 12 more in 2015.

John Vincent, chief executive of Leon, said: “We can finally put my Nan’s advice into practice, ‘Count the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.’ We’re really delighted to be at the forefront of this brilliant initiative, thousands of young people are going to benefit from this.”

Caffè Nero and Leon’s matching pledges follow the announcement from VISA Europe in November that they would donate £1 for each of the first 30,000 registrations to the scheme, turning London’s pennies into pounds.

Matthew Patten, chief executive of The Mayor’s Fund for London, said: “We are delighted to welcome Caffè Nero and Leon as Penny for London’s first retail partners. Even if you don’t use contactless on the tube or bus, you can now donate your pennies each time you get a coffee or buy your lunch, helping young people from deprived areas all over London to reach their full potential and take advantage of everything this great city has to offer. All, Londoners can now make their own difference to London’s future.”

Contactless cardholders can opt-in via the Penny for London mobile site or website – – and follow Penny for London on Twitter @PennyforLondon. The official hashtag for social media is #Easy1Peasy.

Penny for London is powered by Barclaycard which has led the way in contactless technology since introducing it to the UK in 2007. Barclaycard played a key role helping Transport for London establish contactless payments across its transport network and has both funded and developed the innovative micro-donation back-office technology that makes Penny for London possible.

More partnerships with London’s leading retailers will be announced by Penny for London in the New Year.