Café brews up employment opportunities

Sunday, 14 April 2019

A community café which will provide training and employment skills has officially opened thanks to funding from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt congratulated the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre on its successful application from round 4 of the program.

“The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre received $15,345 for its community café and to build private meeting spaces which will be used for the support services offered at the centre,” Mr Pitt said.

“The café will provide a training space for local organisations to deliver their hospitality certificates and people can gain employment skills in customer service and hospitality, with a focus on people with a disability.

“The Stronger Communities Program has been very successful for community groups and organisations like the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre that would otherwise struggle to fund these types of projects.”

Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre chief executive officer Tanya Stevenson said with visitors to the centre increasing over 50 percent in the past 12 months, and services increasing by 31 percent in the past 12 months, the community café was much needed.

“The centre also delivers a free meal every Wednesday night to over 150 people and the new cafe will allow a more professional and accessible location to prepare and deliver our care packages to the community members who are struggling financially,” she said.

“The private meeting spaces will be used for vulnerable and at risk community members to receive support services such as emergency relief, child protection services, tenancy advice, legal support, and multicultural services.”

The Stronger Communities Program offered eligible community groups grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 for small capital projects. All applications need to commit at least matching funding or in-kind contributions.

A fifth round of the Stronger Communities Program was announced in the Budget with $150,000 available for each electorate.

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