A CHARITABLE coffee shop which will offer employment to disadvantaged young people is due to open in Manchester this summer.
Karl Considine, 32, will open the so-called Wendy House cafe, offering permanent positions to 18 to 24 year olds from difficult backgrounds including homelessness and dysfunctional childhoods.
No stranger to the struggles facing vulnerable youths, Mr Considine spent his early years being towed between schools and helped to raise his two younger sisters.
For him, this project is a chance to do “something that is a bit more meaningful and essentially has an impact on people’s lives.”
Despite leaving school without any formal qualifications his work ethic never diminished and after accompanying his Grandmother to the office, where he carried out basic office tasks, he eventually secured a full time office role at 16.
Named in her honour, Wendy House will work in partnership with other charities in the North West to help vulnerable young people gain key employability and life skills.
Mr Considine said: “I struggled as a young person, I did not complete high school and getting on to the employment ladder was quite tough because of some personal circumstances at home.
“It is a position that I have been in and I understand.”
He added: “Everybody knows that youth unemployment is an issue in the UK.
“In the North West alone there are around 100,000 young people aged between 18 and 24 that are unemployed and they are not in any type of training or education, that is obviously quite a good incentive.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, in the last quarter of 2016 alone, over 800,000 16 to 24 year olds were not in education, employment or training.
Wendy House will offer young people permanent positions and initially work in partnership with other youth charities to aid the recruitment process.
Mr Considine hopes that Wendy House will give young people a greater chance of securing employment later in life and also facilitate the growth of the charity on a national scale.
He said: “I want to be able to grow quite a big business and have lots of Wendy Houses not just in Manchester but nationally.
“There is going to be a massive focus on being passionate about the customer and really going above and beyond, I want a united feel.”
Although there are no definitive plans in place for the location of the venue, Mr Considine has pinpointed two potential sites as the Northern Quarter and Ancoats.
In preparation for the launch this summer, Mr Considine has been meeting with other youth charities in Manchester, launched social media pages and will start an online crowdfunding campaign within the next few months.
Our business cards arrived today! Every day we are one step closer to opening our doors to you! pic.twitter.com/Ig6qWry726
— Wendy House (@WendyHouse_MCR) February 9, 2017
When asked about his vision for Wendy House he said: “Wendy House would have a head office and a team that would be experts in this field, we would be a known brand that people would come to.”