The Youth Booth Soft Play Cafe

by Toni Mcmanus in Hemel Hempstead, England, United Kingdom

The Youth Booth Soft Play Cafe
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Unfortunately this project was not successful.

We're opening a small soft play cafe which will offer healthy food, give young people work experience and support local businesses!

by Toni Mcmanus in Hemel Hempstead, England, United Kingdom

I'm Toni, I'm 27 and I'm from Hemel Hempstead. I am the chair and founder of a registered youth charity which helps young people to prepare for independent living. Our charity is quite new still (formed in February 2018) and we're looking to expand by opening a soft play cafe. 

The Youth Booth Soft Play Cafe will offer parents of 0-5 year olds an intimate venue that provides freshly prepared, wholesome foods in a very clean environment. The Youth Booth Soft Play Cafe will offer young people the chance to gain work experience (whilst offering a fair wage) and we will support local businesses by stocking local produce and home made products for gifting such as locally made chocolates, candles and greetings cards.

The Youth Booth soft play cafe will be an extension of our registered charity and all profit made will feed directly back into the charity which funds our youth projects, educational and recreational trips and community initiatives. 

The idea is that the income generated by the cafe will help to fund the charities activities and overheads so that we can continue to expand and help more young people across the town. 

More about The Youth Booth - Registered Charity

I have two daughters aged 2 and 6. When my eldest was only 6 days old, my uncle Luke took his own life. 

Luke had a tough upbringing. He came from a poor family of seven. When he was nine, his dad (my granddad) died in front of us and by the time Luke was nineteen he was an orphan. Not long after that he became homeless and turned to a life of drugs and crime. 

My dads side of the family, have always been extremely close and the impact that losing Luke has had on us all has been truly devastating. Luke was only 27 years old at the time he took the overdose and we found out later the same night that his girlfriend was expecting his baby (Luciana, now 5). 

After a while of grieving, I felt I needed to do something productive. I felt that if Luke had more support through his own grieving process and encouragement to achieve his potential, he would still be here today. 

I went on to get a job with Hertfordshire County Council as a youth worker where I worked for several years. 

Whilst on Maternity leave, I kept receiving correspondence informing that due to budget cuts, my job may not have been secure. Sadly, I had already seen a lot of local youth projects shut down in the area and seen the young peoples disappointment in losing their projects. 

In February 2018 I found two willing candidates to join my mission and we formed an unincorporated association (a legal form of charity), we held our first fundraiser a month later and opened our first youth club on May 2nd 2018 (which happened to be Luke's 32nd birthday). 

To register as a charity you have to raise £5,000, we hit this goal quite quickly and we received our official charity status from The Charities Commission England in June 2019. 

In the meantime we have recruited a further five trustees and seven volunteers - all of which dedicate a lot of time and hard work to the charity today. We run four youth projects a week, a weekly litter pick, educational and recreational trips and workshops. 

We've been really grateful to have received donations and some small grants so far but the hardest part of our job is bringing in enough money to continue our services, and without any continuous funding it means time we could be spending bettering our services is heavily spent on grant admin. 

If I have missed anything, please feel free to get in contact as i'd be only too happy to answer any questions you may have:


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

You will get a free hot drink and lunch for two when we open! This can be used for an adult and a child or for two adults! Or We will send you a personalised thank you card and certificate of thanks.

£50 or more

£50 donation reward

You will receive a free lunch and a drink for two people every week for one month. Or, we will send you a personalised thank you card and certificate of thanks,

£100 or more

£100 reward

You will receive a VIP membership card which will entitle you to free hot drinks for 6 months, 6 free lunches for two people and you will also be invited to our grand opening ceremony.

£250 or more

£250 Reward - Reach the Wall Of Fame

You will receive a VIP membership for 1 year which will entitle you to free hot drinks, 12 free lunches for two people AND your name (or business name) will be painted on our Wall Of Fame when we open. Allowing all guests to see who helped us in our mission to open! (Or, if you'd prefer we didn't use your name, that's fine too). You will also be invited to our grand opening ceremony where you'll be treated as a VIP!

£1,000 or more

£1000 Reward

Enjoy 1 years worth of free drinks, 12 free lunches for 2 people, an invite to our opening ceremony, your name (or business name) painted on our Wall Of Fame AND you will named as one of our VIP members.

£40,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£40,000 Reward

Receive free lunch and hot drinks for two people indefinitely. You will be our main sponsor and your name (or business name) will be used across all marketing materials and online presence for the first three years. You will be invited to open our venue yourself and will feature at the top of our Wall Of Fame. You will also have the chance to join the committee and be a bigger part of the overall project.

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