Soul in the Machine – a Yorks Café project


The ‘Soul in the Machine’ project is the essence of being a positive impact business, making local changes for the global good.


The current Covid-19 pandemic has re-surfaced the philosophy behind why Yorks exists as a business. It has made us all pause, reflect and consider what is important. Our government now speaks of a green economic recovery which truly strikes a chord with us here at Yorks. This change in how we do business needs to come from us, the people on the ground, making everyday changes which will positively impact the environment around us.


But it can’t stop there...


You don’t have to look far to see the serious challenges humanity faces today and in the years ahead. The birth-city of Yorks Cafe, Birmingham, has the second biggest homeless community in the country with over 1150 registered homeless.


The environmental crisis we face spans so many challenges, whether climate change, contamination of land and water or loss of biodiversity. It’s hard to argue against the fact, that we are at a crossroads of needing to make not an incremental change, but a fundamental shift in our behaviours and attitudes to how we live our lives and impact our planet.


The pressures on the world around us is matched only by the pressures on ourselves, with mental health and wellbeing becoming a crisis in its own right. With the medical, tick-box obsession with diagnosis and mental health categorisation, there’s a gaping hole in truly understanding the journey of an individual and understanding why young (or otherwise) people experience the feelings they do. Did you know suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK?


So, rather than just “raising awareness” or fighting against what we see as wrong, we want to BE the soul, IN the machine that can influence, change and be a force for good. Being the soul in the machine will mean different things for each of us, but here at Yorks our mission is to be a positive-impact café making local change for global good. We aim to prove that being sustainable, environmentally friendly, investing in local community and putting the wellbeing of people at the heart of what we do, doesn’t mean not-for-profit and doesn’t always mean charity.


We also recognise that we are far from perfect. We’ve taken a good look at ourselves and have pledged to make regular and positive changes to the way we do business so we can be a vehicle of change, and hopefully a benchmark for others.


We hope you enjoy the journey...