Recently a new program was established within the Inner Melbourne Community Hub to connect members of VincentCare’s Client Volunteer Program (CVP) with an opportunity to build their hospitality skills and expertise, leading to potential employment pathways in the sector.
Over a 12 week period, participating Client Volunteers took part in a Jesuit Community College accredited course which combined practical training on a commercial espresso machine with visits to local cafes and coffee roasteries. Through the course, client volunteers have developed barista skills and increased their chance of finding employment, as well as improving their literacy skills to the level required for employment in hospitality.
"This course has made me realise who I can be. I've got confidence and new skills" Karlee , Client Volunteer, and newly qualified barista
As a part of the assessment requirements, participants were required to work on a group project using the skills they learnt throughout the course and our client volunteers decided their project would be a special event to launch a barista service at the Ozanam Community Centre (OCC).
The group designed their own logo and named their project ‘The O Café’ which officially launched at the OCC on Friday 15 December.
The O Café is now a regular barista service operating two mornings a week for clients of OCC to access professionally prepared coffee. The service is run by members of the CVP who obtained their certificates as qualified baristas.
"It's a pathway to work for me. Not everyone gets a chance to work in a cafe and for me, this is a pathway to employment" - Simon, Client Volunteer and newly qualified barista
The O Café offers an assimilated café experience for the volunteer workers and provides clients of OCC the chance to enjoy barista style coffee in a café-style environment.
Special thanks must go to Coffee Mio who donated the machine and auxiliaries for the baristas, 5Point Foundation who funded the Barista Program and Jesuit Community College who delivered the training.
"It's been a great joy to see how everyone has grown and changed." - Lachie, Trainer, Jesuit Community College