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Q+A with Gareth Owens from GET THE BOYS A LIFT

Earlier on this month I was introduced online to a website called:www.gettheboysalift.co.ukbased in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Spending most of my spare time in Pembrokeshire surfing and adventuring I felt a bit disappointed in myself that I hadn't come across these guys before.

In short, Get The Boys A Lift (GTBAL) is non - profit organisation built up by a collective of friends who have setup a clothing and merchandise website. They then use the funds from sales to to support local mental health charities and projects in their community.

This has also led to them opening a cafe / creative space in Haverfordwest where young people can meet up, get creative, buy top notch coffee and GTBAL merchandise. To this date, GTBAL have raised over £12,000 to support mental health services in their local communities and are starting to spread further afield.

When I read what they were doing I was blown away and instantly felt the need to get in touch to make links and help support such a great idea. I made contact with Gaz who started up the project to speak to me and tell me much more about GTBAL.


Hi Gaz, thanks so much for speaking to me about Get The Boys A Lift. Before I start, I just want to give you guys some serious big up's on what you have achieved so far. Being an active campaigner for mental health myself, when I read about what you guys are doing I was blown away.

So, can you tell me about GTBAL?

GTBAL is a community interest and not for profit organisation who are based in at 7a Dew Street, Haverfordwest.

We were fortunate enough to crowdfund the project and be able to renovate an old pizza shop and turn it into a coffee shop and clothing store. We also have private spaces for counsellors, drug workers, youth support workers and so forth.

Our work involves sign posting and linking young people to support and professionals and make initial contact in a friendly and open environment, mainly targeted at the JAM (just about managing) generation.

Currently it's myself and Greg who head up the project full time, along with the help of Ryan, Tom, Wilson and Noah. As well as a number of other volunteers who have helped build the project.

Get to know!

How did GTBAL get started? And how did you come up with the idea?

GTBAL started after I wanted to raise some money for a suicide prevention charity, where I hitch hiked around Wales and sold some home made t - shirts as a means of fundraising and spreading awareness.

From there, a friend helped me with the web design, and we eventually started selling t shirts which has now grown and grown and we sell them far and wide this has helped the project to grow into what is now Get The Boys A Lift. We now hitchhike on a regular every summer to raise funds and awareness, which lets people know what we do.

Get The boys a Lift (L-R) Tom, Noah, Evz, Gaz and Greg.
Gaz and Greg at the Dew Street coffee shop / creative space.

So what are your future plans for GTBAL?

We are currently focusing our efforts on the drop in store at Dew Street. The space lets us provide a free space for young professionals to use and engage with other young people. We also aim to keep building the brand identity with our clothing which hopefully will allow us to raise more funding for the community and allow us to have an open door policy.

Gaz, thanks so much for speaking with me. I'm a huge fan of everything you are doing and it's so refreshing to see people like you with such a clear vision of how to help young people and support your community. I hope I can help you with fundraising in the future.


If you like what Get The Boys a Lift are doing, and would like to find out more, check out the links below:

www.gettheboysalift.co.uk

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The Freesoul Project 2019 - Made in Wales