A new charity that aims to offer something different to Milford's youth, has opened its doors in Milford Haven.
Milford Youth Matters, a charity aimed at people aged between 16 and 25, has launched in the town to help young people advance in life dy developing their skills and enhancing their employability.
The project, which was launched in partnership with the Pembrokeshire County Council youth service, is based at the Milford Haven Youth Centre in Priory Road, and already runs a young mums' group called Chat and Chill on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and a Jobs Club on Tuesdays and Fridays to help with job searching and CV writing for people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
Project worker Sian Jones said: "Milford Youth Matters is about bringing the community together and trying to give young people something that hasn’t been offered to them before in a challenging and exciting way.
"I feel that there’s a gap between finishing school and getting into employment, and it’s a gap where young people get stuck sometimes because of a lack of confidence. And this is a way of assisting them, offering them something different, while giving something back to the community."
Sian said that by linking with schools, the charity would be able to assist any young people who at risk of becoming NEET.
She said: “Sometimes people do not know what they want to do, and we can become that intermediate and help them look at some options. If they are thinking of going into further education, we can show them what college is like and help with the process. The point is to build their confidence, self esteem and allow them to access skills before they drop off and become NEET.”
By March, Sian and youth worker Nikki Elliott hope to get Buddy’s Cafe up and running at the youth centre, giving young people the opportunity to gain valuable work and volunteering experience.
Nikki said: "It will give people the chance to work behind the coffee bar, opening up training opportunities for them, including the Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene certificate.
She added: “The money that we will make from the coffee shop will go towards training opportunities for the people involved. We’re not out to make a profit, we just want to sustain the charity and get more young people interested."
Sian said: “It’s all just getting off the ground, but it’s exciting. And hopefully we’ll be branching out and offering more courses as the project goes on.
“We hope that Milford Youth Matters will become the go-to place for young people. We’re open in the day time, so just drop in and have a chat with us. And if we don’t know the answer, we will find out."
For more information or if you would like to volunteer call 01646 663137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.