Second Beginnings Café will help struggling Murraylands locals get ready to work
Grant funding will help the Murray Mallee GP Network establish a café, op shop and garden in which volunteers can gear themselves up for mainstream employment.
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The Murray Mallee General Practice Network has big plans for a social-enterprise-in-planning, the Second Beginnings Café.
Clinical services manager Lisa Courtney said the initiative would be comprised of a café, as well as an op shop and garden which would be open to the public.
It would help people who were seeking an opportunity to build the necessary skills to eventually find employment, or people who mainstream employment did not suit.
“Some people may struggle to find work if they have had a history of addiction or (poor) mental health, and who have had long periods of not working; or someone might be dealing with chronic pain, or recovering from trauma, and may not be fit for mainstream employment,” Ms Courtney said.
“Against the average person, they can’t compete.
“What people need is a stigma-free, judgement-free environment in which they can build their interpersonal skills, manager their triggers and have a sense of agency.
“It’s also about developing people’s confidence and helping them grow as a person while providing them a sense of safety.”
Ms Courtney said the establishment would stand apart from the average workplace by offering a more “tailored” experience.
“Work is not a ‘one size fits all’,” she said.
“We’re hoping each volunteer that comes through will be able to sit down with someone that has had tertiary training in mental health or social work, to figure out where they would best fit.
“Some people may be better suited to an environment that is a bit more fast-paced like the café, while others may want to work their way up from the garden.”
Ms Courtney had been unsure as to whether people would like the idea; she said she had been pleasantly surprised by the reaction from the community.
“I kind of went back and forth on it, but whenever I told people about it, they said they thought it was a great idea,” she said.
“We put out a survey through our Facebook page and we got 100 responses in two weeks … for our other surveys about client satisfaction levels, we would normally get 40 responses a month.
“Earlier this year, we applied for the Fay Fuller Spark Grant for $40,000 to explore and research the concept, and were successful.”
The GP network also recently secured a $5000 grant from SA Power Networks.
So, when and where will Second Beginnings get its start?
“It depends on what is available at the time we receive all the necessary funding,” Ms Courtney said.
At this point, she said, any and every dollar towards the cause would be appreciated.
“The costs are projected to be around $300,000,” she said.
“We’re a charity and a not-for-profit organisation … we have a presence in the community and are community-based.
“Our aim is to help people live meaningful lives … to improve people’s wellbeing and give them a sense of purpose.”
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