Sunday, June 23, 2024

Manningham Council embraces café experience

A café work experience program for local people with disabilities has delivered so much
more than great coffees, says Victoria’s Manningham Council.

Since December, Council Depot staff have been treated to warm drinks lovingly prepared by Onemda’s Embrace Café.

Last Wednesday, the Embrace Café crew poured their last coffee for Manningham Mayor, Carli Lange, before wrapping up for winter.

“We’re grateful for not just for the coffees and treats but also for the welcoming smiles and how lovely and kind you have been to everyone. Our staff have really enjoyed getting to know you since December,” Mayor Lange said.

“I’m sure you’ve all learned some very important skills over the last six months and I can’t
wait to hear how they help you thrive in the future.”

The Mayor joined Onemda CEO, Simon Lewis, to present certificates of appreciation to each
participant.

She said Council was proud to support the Pathway to Employment program and see it
growing into a strong, sustainable initiative which made a difference to everyone involved.

“Firstly, through our Community Partnership Grant, which provides funding to support the in-house training component at Onemda, and secondly, through the wonderful café, here at the Depot.”

“This has been a meaningful opportunity to gain valuable employment experience and skills
in customer service, food preparation, money handling and running a business.

“We look forward to deepening our links with Onemda so that participants can keep putting their great skills to work!”

At the event, Councillors joined Council and Onemda staff to celebrate the 16 participants,
their families and carers. The crowd heard from Patrick, who spent Mondays serving coffee
and Wednesdays baking salted caramel cookies, chocolate fudge slices and banana bread for the café.

Patrick said he had learned to greet customers in a polite, happy way.

“It is very important because people don’t want to buy coffee from grumpy people!”

“I like work; it makes me happy because I like helping people. My experience at the café
was really good because it is helping me to get a job,” he said.

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