Two Okehampton Freemasons dropped into the Well-being Cafe last week to present the team with £500 which will go towards the cost of the Teen-Space project.

The money will help to cover the costs of running Teen-Space, a Well-being Cafe group for 11-17-year-olds in and around the Okehampton area so that they can meet after school in a safe space to chat, play games, get advice and enjoy some food and drink.

Manager Gemma Partridge said: “The winter months are when we see the greatest need. Teens need a safe space to meet and being able to give them a hot drink and basic hot meal often makes all the difference.”

The donation will allow Teen-Spaces, which opened over the summer holiday, to continue running throughout the winter months.

The Well-being Cafe set up the youth group to give teenagers a safe space to meet friends and socialise. Gemma explained that there were few spaces for teenagers to meet up after school as many of the cafes in town closed around or before the end of the school day.

“We also wanted to make sure that we didn’t exclude any children who are in poverty so we have free food and drink,” added Gemma.

“Making it a social group with your friends makes it much less obvious that your family is struggling as everyone gets free food and drink. The group also gives them someone else other than family to talk to about any problems.”

Gemma and her staff have all had mental health support training but are always on the look-out for more volunteers.

Teen-Space runs every Wednesday at the Well-being Cafe from 3-6pm. For more information search for The Well-being Cafe on Facebook.