Bradley, who works in the café of one of Anglicare’s South Australian aged care facilities, not only makes a wicked coffee but knows all of his customers’ names and orders like clockwork.
The 24-year-old has been in the role for a little more than three months but has shown a growth of skills, experience, and personal development far exceeding expectations as part of AnglicareSA’s Post Care Pathways (PCP) program for young people leaving foster or residential care between the ages of 18 – 25.
The Child Protection Australia 2019-20: Report And Data Summary showed of children on care and protection orders, 16,843 were living in foster care, 2,970 were living in other home-based care and 2,925 were living in residential care.
Transitioning from a night shift worker at fast food chain Hungry Jack’s into a role he loves, Bradley enjoys interacting with the residents he serves at the Westbourne Park facility – talking to them about their lives and what they did for work in the past.
“When I can, I sit with them and have a coffee with them.”
AnglicareSA began reinvigorating the cafés at the organisation’s residential aged care sites about a year ago, elevating the quality of products to commercial-café level to entice more residents to come in and socialise.
Through the PCP program, Bradley was provided with immediate access to affordable and appropriate housing, as well as individual health and social support.
Bradley explained, “Working here and being involved with food ordering and preparation has helped me at home, I’m cooking more instead of heating up frozen meals.”
“I’d encourage anyone to take up what opportunities they are presented with and I’m looking forward to getting more involved in the delivery of our food services across the different aged care sites.”
Executive General Manager, Social Enterprise, Dominic Gagliardi said it was equally as important to provide the opportunity for some of their other program participants to get a start in a job, or in Bradley’s case, to get to the next level.
“For us, it was so important to connect Social Enterprise to aged care as well as to our programs involving young people,” he said.
“I see a real value in running a fully functional café in a residential aged care site from not only a dignity of choice perspective, but also from making the social enterprise connection between youth and aged care as an entry point to a career in the sector.”