Making a difference

The 2020 Alumna of the Year Trailblazer Award goes to Chloe Smith, co-founder of a homeless charity

gdst alumna

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Trailblazer award goes to Chloe Smith, co-founder of the Bigmoose coffee shop, a Cardiff-based charity helping to train, mentor and employ vulnerable people in the city. Chloe is an alumna of Howell’s School, Llandaff.

Accepting her award, Chloe said, “I am genuinely honoured to have won this GDST Trailblazer award. Thank you so much. The GDST have played such a huge part in my story so far, and I hope forever more. I am honoured to have won and I really hope that this award can inspire the students of the GDST today to achieve their dreams and their potential, and to know that anything is possible.”

The idea for the coffee shop came after Chloe had spent two years supporting the homeless in Cardiff. Having volunteered at a soup kitchen, persuaded local restaurants to deliver hot meals, asked barbers and hairdressers to give haircuts to rough sleepers, and rallied the South Wales community to collect warm clothes and bedding, Chloe still wanted to do more. And so Bigmoose was born.

After Kickstarter fundraising campaign raised £30,000 in a week, Bigmoose opened its doors in March 2018, with all profits going to help homeless and other disadvantaged people get back into work and society. Bigmoose became a registered charity last year, with a focus on homelessness, mental health and prevention of suicide, and currently employs 22 people.