The Redgum Cafe has been operating now for over 6 months. I thought it was worth offering a bit of an insight into some of what we’ve achieved in our last few months of operations.
We currently have 6 young trainees we work with in the cafe. We’re working with them to develop job-ready skills in customer service, coffee-making, and food safety and preparation. Along the way we help them to build confidence, communication skills, and the ability to work as a team.
Of our 6 trainees:
- 2 are VCAL students from the local high school — they began with us in Term 2 and loved it so much they asked to come back in Term 3
- Half of our trainees have experiences of learning disadvantages or challenges, and we’re seeing really good outcomes among these trainees
- Most of our trainees have no other connection with MUC beyond being engaged as trainees in the cafe
To support our training work we also have a few other volunteers who help to keep the cafe ticking over. These volunteers enable us to offer training in a supportive environment, where there isn’t too much pressure on our trainees while they’re still learning. Some of these volunteers are MUC members — including from the Cafe Management Team, who continue to step up when called upon to offer a hand in the cafe! — and we’re seeing an increasing number of non-MUC members applying to volunteer with us. If you’re keen to help in the cafe please get in touch!
We’re also growing our broader connections within the community. Many MUC members have begun using our free communal library, which is managed by a local community member; and we happily welcome the Grumpies, Ladies Thyme, and Cafechurch regularly. We also regularly have young parents in the cafe, some of whom have now joined our growing playgroups. And we have connections with some local Probus groups.
There’s a few other things bubbling along behind the scenes. But we’re really happy with how we’re beginning to live out our cafe vision of being:
A living, breathing space that fosters connection within the community.