A Helston businessman has revealed his plans to open an academy in 2024 to teach young people basic life skills and enable them to gain qualifications for future jobs. 

The owner of Wally’s Roasts on Meneage Street has set up Meneage Academy Lifeskills for Independence, through which he hopes to encourage those aged 16 and over to learn basic life skills to help them become independent and get jobs.

Plans are in place for the academy to open in January 2024, based in the current Wally’s Roast building at the top of Meneage Street in Helston. However, the roast business will continue to trade.  

‘Wally’ and his partner came up with the idea of the academy came after seeing children leave the care system with no basic life skills.

Wally said: “They have been thrown into the deep end. It’s not fair and not right, they need training.”

The academy building has three self-contained rooms, with cooking and cleaning facilities for the youngsters to learn how to cook and clean.

There will also be training from qualified volunteers who will teach them the skills they need to gain qualifications.

The young people will be taught to budget, cook healthy food, learn organisational skills, clean, cook on a budget, food safety and gain employable skills and qualifications

Within the course, they will also gain first aid level 2, food safety level 2, barista level 1 and other recognisable qualifications.

There will also be support for autistic children who need help from qualified volunteers who specialise in autism.


Wally, who was in foster care between the age of ten and 18, hopes that the academy will help to provide for the young people's future not only with life skills but to help them deal with finances.

He said: “A lot of people go into depression because they don’t have the qualifications to apply for jobs. So, they apply for credit cards, thinking it’s free, but it’s not.

“It’s the same with mobile phone contracts, it starts off at a low monthly fee, but after two years, the contract goes up.

“We want to train them how to deal with finances the right way. Teach them how to shop and feed themselves on a budget.”

However, Wally and his partner are currently looking for support to be able to buy items to be able to provide the children with, including food, cleaning products and other essential items.

He has now set up a GoFundMe page which he hopes people will donate to reach a £10,000 target. You can donate at www.gofundme.com/f/life-skills-for-independence

It states that courses will be a month long and will include accommodation and food. 

“We hope to try and keep everything cheap as we can, as everything is so expensive,” added Wally. “If I could do it for free I would but it’s impossible.”

For more information, visit Meneage Academy on Facebook