Youth café celebrates refurb and cashless technology

A youth café in Onchan is celebrating the completion of a modern refurbishment programme and what may be the Island’s first non-profit youth provision with cashless technology.

As a registered charity, Kenyon’s Café provides a facility for young people aged 11 to 18 where they can relax in a safe place, connect with friends and access advice and support where necessary.

The refurbishment programme has expanded the space within their facility creating a more comfortable environment, especially during popular drop-in sessions. The facility now boasts modern furniture throughout and decorative LED lighting, adding a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere to the space.

Martin Macfarlane, Director at Kenyon’s Café, said: ‘We have desperately needed to expand the usable space for some time and I’m thrilled we’ve finally achieved this milestone. I thank everyone involved – particularly our volunteers, young people, community partners and refurbishment sponsors – Manx Lottery Trust and Onchan District Commissioners.’

As part of the programme and in response to young people, the charity evaluated the use of technology resulting in new capability for accepting card payments for its canteen offering which is crafted with low-priced hot food, drinks and snacks.

‘Over the last 12 months we observed a rise in young people transitioning to digital card providers for their pocket money, moving away from traditional cash transactions. This presented a challenge to maintain an affordable pricing model while being accessible to all.’

‘After encountering limitations with certain providers due to our Isle of Man location, we eventually implemented a cost-effective, low-minimum solution which, since September, has already processed in excess of 30 percent of our transactions. This outcome highlights the importance of listening to the needs of young people and embracing technology.’

Young people who helped steer the recent changes were joined by dignitaries, guests and volunteers to celebrate the completion of the programme and to thank Manx Lottery Trust, Onchan District Commissioners and DESC Youth Service for their support throughout. For more information about the charity visit