Helston’s Youth Cafe Seeks Volunteers!

The Community Interest Company that runs the venture are now recruiting for new volunteers for their busy evening sessions on either Tuesdays or Fridays.

Helston is home to the unique youth café, named by the young people as ‘The Furry Youth Café’ This cafe sits above Warrens in Meneage Street, hence the rabbit logo on the swing sign.

As the Chairman of the Furry Youth Café CIC as well as the other directors we are keen to hear from local people who can spare a few hours a month to help support the sessions. The key ingredient is a willingness to help and support young people, you don’t have to have an interest in catering, you may have other skills or you may be experienced in volunteering and just want to give something back to help the youth of the town, we would love to hear from you whatever your background and expertise.

My fellow director and former town Mayor, Cllr Mike Thomas hopes the people of Helston and the surrounding area get behind this and come forward, as you really will make a difference.

Volunteers alongside trained youth workers and we hope you will get something out of the experience too.  The town is fairly unique in having this amazing facility and we are looking forward to hearing from you.”

Training will be provided including safeguarding, introduction to youth work, and other useful aspects of engaging with young people…. we hope to attract a real mix of new volunteers to help the café have a really good season.

Make your volunteering really count – to find out more, please contact me,  Charlotte Caldwell on Tel: 07741 304606.

The Furry Youth Café, Helston set to reopen in September

The good news is Furry Youth Café which is located above Warren’s Bakery in Helston is set to reopen on the 6th of September. This venue will at first open on Tuesday’s and Friday’s from 7pm to 9pm each week.

Anyone between the ages of 11-18 can attend, no matter if you live in Helston, Porthleven, the Lizard area, or the wider villages. The catchment area is really for those who attend either Helston College, or Mullion School.

The café is free to attend, and there will be a series of structured activities taking place, plus plenty of time to just relax.

As one of the directors of the Furry Youth Café, I am really pleased we are able to reopen after what seemed like ages of being closed. We are also excited to be working with PCDT to deliver the youth service in side the café. Penwith Community Development Trust is a  Cornish charity with the aim of reducing poverty, social isolation and support healthy living.

However, before the reopening, there will be a fun day at Helston AFC on Wednesday 24th August between 1pm and 4pm. This fun day enables those attending to meet the team, and see what the Youth Café have to offer. This fun day is not just for young people, but parents and carers are very much welcomed too. That way those parents and carers will see what is on offer at the café.

The launch poster

The launch poster

For anyone reading from Porthleven, and wondering what is happening in Porthleven, I am putting a proposal to Porthleven TC in Sept.

Furthermore, I know for some transport is an issue for those in Porthleven and I am again working on something that could enable young people from Porthleven get to and from the café for free.

Furry Youth Cafe is Opened

The Furry Youth Cafe was officially opened last night at the former Warren’s Cafe; which is above the bakery. As Charlotte Chadwick said last night “it was a bumpy two year process, but we are here now”.

Many people from all different private and public organisations were involved, but without Charlotte driving this project forward I doubt it would be a reality that it is today. She even secured a rent free period of five year’s from Warren’s Bakery.

The project was finally kick-started by winning £50,000 from the Peoples Lottery in November 2010. This was not the only funding given, as many companies donated, or offered free to equipment and/or their services free to get the building ready.

The Cafe will be open on Wednesdays, Fridays from 6pm-9pm and all day Sunday. For more details you can visit the Cafes website HERE

Below are some pictures from the opening event.

Peoples Millions – The Results

After much work by everyone to win the 50k from the Peoples Millions it was result time. This was meant to be live at 6pm, but due to the weather ITV decided to bring this forward and do a recording. I received a call from Charlotte and hour or so before telling me of the change. Charlotte had to rang around to everyone involved to make their way to the One Stop Shop for 2:30pm.

We all gathered to await the decision. We got told that we had not won. Everyone’s heart sank. It was devastating to hear. As everyone looked at each other to try and fathom the crushing defeat, and consequences of this, there was a BUT from the reporter.

Everyone looked up,  the ITV reporter said “You have though, won the runner up prize of the highest number of votes out of all the runners up”. Everyone looked up. The reporter then went on to say “and that is also £50,000”! Those gathered let out a massive roar of cheering and shouting, followed by everyone jumping around and shouting we have the money.

Even though we did not win outright, we still have the money to go ahead with the plan for the Youth Cafe. In fact the two entries from Cornwall will both receive £50k. To be honest, that is a better result than just one of the entries winning. It is hoped to get the Cafe up and running by the end of February as a lot of the planning is in place. It just needed the money.

Helston Youth Cafe – Peoples Millions

Yesterday was a big day for Helston. It was in the final for the Peoples Millions. Up for grabs was £50,000 (Click HERE to recap on what I wrote before). If we win, we would have enough money to fund a Youth Café above Warrens Bakery.
It all started at 5am when Charlotte Chadwick picked up the papers with all the number and information in, by 7 am she had a team of helpers assembled to deliver leaflets though doors. By 9am many homes in Helston had received a leaflet through their doors. Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s had agreed to take leaflets and give them out to customers. Many other businesses in Helston and Porthleven agreed to display and have a pile of leaflets available. I was tasked to deliver leaflets in Porthleven and then stand outside the One Stop Shop and hand out leaflets asking people to vote.
In the end over 11,000 leaflets were handed out or delivered. People were still working up to 10pm last night to make sure the message was out. Facebook also came into play with many people passing on the message to vote. Even Twitter had messages urging people to vote. The phone lines closed at midnight. The winner will be announced tonight at 6pm on ITV. I really hope we win, especially as the whole community rallied together.
I have to say the main credit should go to Charlotte Chadwick who as the Helston and Community Network Manager led from the start. I really believe without her almost obsessional determination to make this happen I doubt we would have got this far. She was not the only one who deserves praise. The list is almost endless as people, business and organisations all pulled together. Here are just some of the people involved
Helston & Lizard CN team: Charlotte Chadwick, Helen Jones, Tatia Churchill
South Kerrier Alliance: Vicki Matthews (also Helston Town Council)
Youth Cornwall: Kate Shotter, Philippa Wall (Skippy), Paul Howarth
Helston Town Council: Craig Bowcutt (Town Warden), Cllr Sue Swift
Devon & Cornwall Constabulary: Beth Pascoe, Paul Whitford, Adrian Fellowes, Inspector Jean Phillips
Helston Fire service: Keith Stringer
Helston Community College
Karen Harvey plus the following Year 9 students:
Dylan Williams, Luke Parkinson, Keah Matthews, Jasmine Gregory, Ailsa Maitland, Georgia Holding, Heather MacNeil, Emma King
Young People from youth centre:
Kyle McGill, Bryn Abraham, Abi Cowls, Abi White, Matt Jory, Jordan Ferguson, John Mifflin
Children’s Centre: April Scott
Local resident: Sue Jenkin, Keith Matthews
It makes you proud to live in an area like this when you see everyone pulling together to make it work.

I Need Your Help – Please Vote

Helston’s ‘Furry Youth Café’ needs your vote!


The Helston & Lizard Community Network has recently bid to The Big Lottery Fund/The People’s Millions to launch the ‘Furry Youth Café’ in Helston and I am absolutely delighted to tell you that the project has won a place on the final list of those going forward to a public vote!! 
This does not guarantee that we will get the grant thoughand that’s where you come in! The ‘Furry Youth Café’ will be featured on ITV West Country regional evening news between 6.00p.m., and 6.30p.m. on Thursday 25 November 2010
The project that receives the most votes will be declared the winner and offered a grant. The vote takes place over a 15 hour period.  Phone lines open at 9a.m. on 25 November and close at midnight – the winner will then be announced on ITV West Country regional evening news on 26 November.
We desperately need your votes!! 
You can vote up to 10 times from any phone during the 15 hour period and the number to contact will only be announced on the morning of 25 November when I will contact you again with details.  Please also look out for the number that day in the Daily Mirror and on The People’s Millions website from 9a.m. the same day http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/.
The People’s Millions website also gives you more information about the project and an opportunity to leave your comments, questions and messages of support – why not take a look?!
(More about the Furry Youth Café project)
The need for the ‘Furry Youth Café’ was identified by local young people in the Helston area of Cornwall, who made representations to Cornwall Council, the local Town Council, the Youth service, local Police (namely the PCSO’s) and via the various community groups about the lack of provision of a suitable safe, warm and supported meeting place for them to use in the town centre.
Following such representations, the Helston & Lizard Community Network of Cornwall Council, in partnership with South Kerrier Alliance (which is the local market and coastal towns initiative) and various other partner organisations, organised a consultation with young people to further assess the need for a Youth café and to more fully explore the reasons why there was market failure in this respect in the locality of Helston town centre.
The main aim of the project is to establish a much needed youth café in Helston, which meets the needs of the young people in the area and plugs a real gap in current provision. 
The objectives are that the ‘Furry Youth Café’ will:
  • Provide a much needed, warm and safe high street location meeting place for young people of the area.  To include creative and reflective meeting spaces, a café area and the opportunity for them to engage in positive activity such as hobbies/games or just being with their friends;
  • Provide the opportunity for the young people of the area to access support from key agencies including confidential one to one counselling support, access to information, advice and guidance on a range of pertinent topics;
  • Provide the opportunity for the young people to gain enterprise and business skills, in the running of the youth café as a youth enterprise with the support of local business advisers;
  • Positively address persistent issues such as youth unemployment, teenage pregnancy, anti-social behaviour including isolated incidents of arson, and the lack of positive role models for these young disadvantaged people to engage with;
  • Inspire young people who use it (including those who have already formed a management group to fundraise) and will positively raise their awareness in relation to being a good citizen and learning new skills.
The Furry youth café would be a unique offer for the market town of Helston, Cornwall.  There is currently no meeting place in the town centre which meets the needs of the young people.  There is a youth club on the outskirts of the town, but this is difficult for many young people to access and given the issues with the lack of affordable and regular rural public transport in this part of Cornwall, young people experience significant barriers to accessing the support and space that they have stated they need.
Also, unlike many other towns in the UK, Helston as a small market town does not have any commercially owned cafés which open during the evening – there are no chains like Costa or Starbucks and the three independently owned cafés close at the very early hour of 3pm every day.  Helston does not have a café culture or night time economy other than a few public houses, and clearly these would not be compatible with the aims and objectives for the youth café.  So, there really is no viable alternative on the high street in the locality where the level of need is most acute.
Young people in the Helston and Lizard area will be the main beneficiaries of the project as it will provide the youth café facilities and associated support that they have identified themselves as being a glaring gap in their lives and in their local community.  It will mainly support young people who are aged 12 years and above and it is proposed that there are different sessions for different age groups, so that the provision and support on offer is targeted most appropriately.
There will also be a number of significant indirect benefits to other members of the community:
The lack of a youth café and meeting space for these young people currently, has led to persistent social issues including instances of anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse and issues relating to heightened fear of crime from the older resident population who see gangs of young people hanging around the town and perceive they are causing trouble within the community.   
This project would help to positively provide benefits including better inter generational understanding and mutual respect between young and older people and would help local retailers and businesses who also have issues with crime and disorder in the locality.
The longer term impacts of the Furry youth café project will be threefold; social, economic and environmental positive outcomes will be felt by the local community and the young people.  The young people in the area will have increased their self esteem, self confidence and motivation as a result of being actively engaged in such an imaginative and positive experience of running their own youth café.
In addition, they will have significantly enhanced their skills base; new skills will include team building, relationship management, enterprise and business skills, negotiation skills, listening skills, planning, research and event management skills, financial management and personal budgeting skills and they will have gained a greater self awareness as a result of participating in the supported activities (including one to one and team activities) as part of the youth café offer.  We also anticipate that through the above, the young people will have better employability potential.
We are also anticipating the positive, long lasting impact of the project will lead to a measurable reduction in anti-social behaviour, teenage pregnancies, fear of crime as perceived by the local older population and a greater sense of pride and citizenship in the local community.
We do hope you will support us with your vote – and don’t forget to tune in to ITV West Country on 25 November!
Please feel free to circulate this information via any means