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Café Connect is delivering invaluable life and trade skills to people with disabilities

Friday, 21 April, 2017.

LiveBetter’s Café Connect (formerly CareWest), which launched in November last year, is already delivering invaluable life and trade skills to people with disabilities through the LiveBetter Community Connections Hub Transition to Work program.

Café Connect, fitted out with a $66,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, facilitates up to ten LiveBetter clients each week working and developing hospitality skills and connecting with community members. 

LiveBetter CEO, Tim Curran, said the work experience and training opportunities helped people living with a disability to become independent.

“Even just a few months after it opened, Café Connect is already changing the lives of our clients who are getting invaluable opportunities to build their confidence through training and interaction with café customers.” 

“All our training participants have been excited to get into a position where they’re really catering to other people and working in a bustling café environment with customers waiting on service – it’s been such an empowering experience for them,” Mr Curran said. 

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman, Phil Neat, said the early success of Café Connect was testament to the value of the program.

“The Transition to Work program makes the most of all that LiveBetter clients have to offer, under the principal of providing the opportunity for every person to unlock their talents, and we’re so proud to support such an innovative initiative,” Mr Neat said.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million annually, which has totalled more than $15 million to date, for local community initiatives in the Hunter, New England, Central West, Central Coast, Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast regions of NSW.

Cafe Connect operates like any other cafe providing patrons of the various services located at the 4C complex and the public with affordable daily specials, snacks and beverages. It also has the capacity to provide employment for up to 10 local people with a disability and spaces for training up to 10 people at a time in hospitality skills including food preparation, catering, cooking and table service. 

LiveBetter trainees on the job at Café Connect

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