‘The Hatch’ is an innovative social enterprise project that is being launched by Action for children in Pembrokeshire. The project will work with young people with additional learning needs aged between 16 and 25 and will provide them with the opportunity to volunteer in a refreshment bar based in Haverfordwest Magistrates Courts. Through their work with the Hatch, the young people will gain valuable life skills and work experience which will empower them on their journey to independence. By gaining knowledge of cash handling, stock rotation, customer service, food preparation and hygiene, the young people will not only gain confidence and develop friendships, but could also gain qualifications to support them in future employment.

From consultations with service users past and present, it was discovered that there is little to no opportunity for young people to make friends or gain life skills to support them into their transition to independence beyond post 16 education. In addition, it was established that there are very few opportunities for vulnerable young people to become volunteers in a safe environment with support staff that understand their needs. The Hatch is therefore an exciting venture for Action for Children as it is a unique approach which gives our young people opportunities that haven’t been accessible to them before.