Jonjo selling The Big Issue outside Sainsbury's in 2018.Louis Ashworth

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over £7500 in just 24 hours for a coffee trike business founded by Jonjo Doe, who has sold The Big Issue newspaper outside of Sainsbury’s on Sidney Sussex Street for over 6 years.

Jonjo, a familiar face around Cambridge, announced in February that his trike and business — Cambridge Coffee — was in its final stages of completion and thanked everyone who had made his “dream a reality”.

To initially establish the business, Jonjo launched his GoFundMe page in April 2018 and raised over £10,000. This money funded the building of the trike, purchasing coffee equipment, and paying for a pitch.

Jonjo put all his efforts into setting up Cambridge Coffee in 2019 and was picked as one of The Big Issue's Top 100 Changemakers.

The business was meant to launch this month, but following the coronavirus pandemic Jonjo announced yesterday that he was “on the verge of losing everything”.

In an emotional message posted on GoFundMe, Jonjo explained that “the garage that has everything in it has gone into arrears” and that he could not pay his rent and was “going to be homeless again.”

“All I can say is help. I’m so sorry. I’m seeking all the help I can get. It’s too little too late. If there is anybody out there who is rich and who knows how hard I worked for this please somebody do something. I don’t think I can go through losing everything again. I was so close.”

A Camfess post publicising the difficulties that Jonjo was facing was shared over 60 times on Facebook, with many adding their own messages of support and stories about getting to know Jonjo.

Within 24 hours there have been over 625 individual donations, taking the total raised since 2018 to over £22,300.

Jonjo shared a photo with his almost-completed trike in January, with the caption "Nearly there now."Jonjo Doe/GoFundMe

A spokesperson for The Big Issue told Varsity: "We here at The Big Issue are saddened to hear that Jonjo's dream of operating his coffee business is being affected by the current circumstances.

"We hope that once the lockdown is lifted that Jonjo can resume his amazing efforts and with the public's support make his dream a reality.”

When he first launched the crowdfunding campaign, Jonjo told Varsity that his coffee trike fundraiser is “not a hard-luck story”, but rather a means of “setting up [his] own business and becoming independent again.”

“I am determined to become a successful businessman and I am really looking forward to making coffee for you all,” he posted online.

Jonjo has recently experienced personal tragedy: his grandmother and a friend both passed away late last year. However he has continued to work on the business, posting photos riding the almost-completed trike, with the caption: “Thanks everyone for your patience. Nearly there now!”

Updated 4.21pm: This article was updated to include comment from The Big Issue.