Liam has attended LYP youth projects from the age of 13, having first got involved with our Friday night Total Football project at Therfield School in Leatherhead. Liam enjoyed getting to know new friends and building relationships with local youth workers. He also came along to Freestyle Youth Camp for 4 years in a row and made great friends and enjoyed being a part of youth work activities. As he progressed, Liam joined our new local 11-a-side football team, North Leatherhead United FC, and became a key player in the side for 3 years between 2010-2012.
When Liam left school, he had low confidence and struggled to find the right path and wasn’t sure of his next steps. Liam came to Romania with us in 2013 as part of a team of young people who ran a summer camp for Roma teenagers in Transylvania. This was a fantastic experience for the group and Liam came out of his shell and made a huge contribution to the trip.
At the same time, LYP began planning our first community business, Allsaints Coffee Shop, which aims to employ local young people in order to give them new skills and confidence. Our team identified Liam as being suitable to work with us and approached him about becoming our first young apprentice. Liam says “I felt it would be a good opportunity for me to belong somewhere and work with people that I trust”.
Liam, aged 19, was one of our four staff members present for the launch of Allsaints in October 2014, and he has made huge progress during that time. As the coffee shop became busier, Liam’s confidence grew and his responsibilities increased. Liam’s customer service skills improved hugely and he soon gained a fantastic rapport with our regular customers. Towards the end of the year with us, Liam gained a promotion to Deputy Manager of Allsaints, adding new responsibilities such as locking up, cashing up and supervising the other young apprentices.
Liam is now continuing his role with us and is now undertaking a management training course in order to help his development. Liam’s hope is to gain enough expertise at Allsaints to join another local business in future at supervisor or management level.
Liam says of his time at Allsaints: “If I wasn’t working at Allsaints then I have no idea what I would be doing. It’s given me key experience of work and it’s become a second home. I’ve grown a lot and have been able to help the younger staff members which I really enjoy.”
We are incredibly proud of Liam, who is proof that our model as a route to work programme can be a huge success for local young people whom we have supported and built a positive relationship with. Liam is now encouraging other local young people to get involved and receive the support they need at Allsaints. To find our more about Allsaints Coffee Shop, click here.