A hug in a mug is available at Sidmouth’s youth café as mental and sexual health issues are tackled.
The Sidmouth Youth Café is open tomorrow, Saturday, July 13, and young people aged from 10 to 18 years old are invited to hang out, have fun, and talk through any life concerns they may have.
The youth café is currently a three-session trial but if it proves popular, organisers hope to open weekly.
Hannah Vicarage, a youth club leader, said opening a Saturday youth café was in response to recognising the lack of emotional and mental health support available to Sidmouth’s young people at weekends.
She said the café offered a safe place for the town’s youth to gather and meet, while offering mental and sexual health advice, and pregnancy testing.
Hannah, who runs the youth café, said: “We wanted somewhere fun where they can hang out and have access to support.
“It’s about building positive relationships and supporting them, because sometimes life sucks.
“There are a lot of children in the town we support and there are a lot of issues going on when we don’t see them at weekends; we thought it would be nice to see them.
“If it’s a success, we will keep it going.”
The youth club café is open to all, even non-members; the expectation is club members will sign in as normal.
Those going along for the first time will be asked to fill in a form, including emergency parent contact details.
Sidmouth Youth Café offers a varied food and drink menu, pool table, chilled music, casual drop-in, one-to-one chats with staff about mental and sexual health, plus pregnancy testing and support.
Volunteer placements at the café for over 15s are available, offering the chance to gain qualifications in food hygiene.
The youth café has a plastic-free ethos and is looking to join a free share food scheme, teaming up with local supermarkets, accepting donations of food with a short shelf life.