Hemel Hempstead charity sets up free breakfast club for children
The Youth Booth runs youth projects and services in Dacorum
A youth charity in Hemel Hempstead is starting a free breakfast club for children on Monday, November 2.
The Youth Booth - a registered charity which runs youth projects and services in Dacorum - is currently unable to run normal services due to the pandemic, so decided to come up with a new project to help young people.
Toni McManus, founder and chair of The Youth Booth, decided to start a breakfast club, which will start on Monday, November 2.
She said: "At the moment we are unable to run our usual services but we wanted to still have a presence in the community and we still wanted to do something to help.
"The breakfast club will be based in Grovehill, the Food Bank have informed me that Grovehill residents are the third highest users of their service across Dacorum, after Town and Highfield.
"It will run Monday to Friday from 7.30am till 8.30am, including school holidays.
"The food will mainly be grab and go, like fruit, pastries, juices, but we will also have toast.
"It will be free for all children, but we would appreciate any donations that parents and the local community can give.
"We are all volunteers, and we will be paying for the use of the community centre and any food that isn't donated, so any help we can get we would really appreciate.
"As long as we can continue to fund the project, we will continue to run it.
"If anyone wants to donate they can text YOUTHBOOTH to 70085 which will be a donation of £3 (Texts cost £3 plus your standard network rate).
"I contacted our MP, Mike Penning, to see if he could support the initiative and he has just got in touch to tell me that he would be covering our rent costs for the first two months from his payrise.
"He said he is fully supportive of the initiative and to also keep him informed of how it goes in the future. He says he's planned to help a number of charities with this money and we'll be one of them."
Sir Mike Penning said: "Toni approached me about supporting the initiative and I am happy to be able to help her, they have to cover the rent and overheads and I said I will pay for the rent costs for the first two months. I think it's a great idea and it's good to see things like this."
Toni added: "I've just spoken to county councillor Collette Wyatt-Lowe who is donating £1000, of which she requests the majority is spent on food!"
The Youth Booth aims to raise enough money to fund the running costs of its youth services, so that they can keep the entrance free for as long as possible for young people and their families and the doors open all year around.
Toni began a career in youth work after losing her uncle to suicide in 2013, she then went on to start the charity to help others.
She said: "Luke became an orphan when he was only 19, and I felt that if Luke had better guidance in the years surrounding the deaths of both of his parents, he’d still be here today.
"I wanted to do something to help other young people, so they always feel they are listened to and supported, we also do a lot of work on life skills."
For more information or more ways to help The Youth Booth Breakfast Club project, visit: www.TheYouthBooth.com.