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Now Open: A Social-Enterprise Cafe in Preston

Wed, 28 Mar 2018, 04:11 PM

Kate Shanasy, Broadsheet, 26 March 2018
“I have a son with some learning difficulties, so I’m often on Google searching for the best employment opportunities for him,” says Chris Lombardo, executive officer at The Bridge, a not-for-profit that offers vocational training, childcare and other community services in Preston and Thornbury. “I stumbled across Bitty and Beau’s – a cafe in the States that provides practical hospitality training for a disadvantaged community – and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, if I could do something similar here with The Bridge, I’d retire a happy woman’.”
Moon Rabbit opened earlier this month at the front of The Bridge’s headquarters in Preston. It sells jaffles, house-made slices and Padre coffee. It’s also environmentally responsible and supports the local community.
The cafe trains young people with learning and other disabilities. A 26-week pilot program sees six students rotate through one- to two-hour shifts that complement the classroom training they get at The Bridge.
“One young man initially was very reserved coming into the program and his dad was concerned he wouldn’t stay engaged,” Lombardo says. “So far he hasn’t missed a day. He’s removed his beanie, is standing tall and after his first shift he wouldn’t stop talking.
Read: the full article at Broadsheet

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  • Fiona Fulton on Tue, 15 May 2018, 07:54 AM:

    Thank you for providing this newsletter. My son with mild autism left secondary school at the end of 2017 and I am exploring employment options for him.

  • Estelle on Tue, 03 Jul 2018, 02:34 PM:

    I have 2 sons with hearing impairment, one is 20 year old and the other is 17 year old. I am exploring employment options for them as my 20 year old son is trying in vain to get himself into employment despite help from Nova Disability Employment Service.

  • Stephen Kerdel on Thu, 05 Jul 2018, 08:27 AM:

    Its is important.

  • Evelin on Sun, 08 Jul 2018, 01:41 AM:

    My son has a learning disability.

  • Sheena on Tue, 30 Oct 2018, 01:07 PM:

    Looking for any advice /guidance / help for teen who wants to work. Thanks

  • Lilian Matassoni on Mon, 18 Feb 2019, 08:23 PM:

    Looking for employment for my twin boys both with autism

  • Sharon on Sun, 19 May 2019, 01:54 PM:

    I have been looking for work placement for my son who has Autism in the areas of Web design-Coding but in vain. Calling so many companies and they all mentioned they don't have capacity to train or don't take in volunteers. How is our loved one with disability going to work when no company wants to give the a chance? They can work in fact n they are better workers because confidentially will be secured with them or more productive as they don't talk or waste time! If someone knows of any place that can help please share the information. Thank you in advance.

  • Ann Tetley on Sun, 20 Oct 2019, 08:34 PM:

    Am a vocational trainer of people with a disability. Very interested in opportunities and work experience available.