More people with disabilities supported to chase a hospo career

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The Plant Room employees Izzy and Jonathon at the café opening. [Source: HammondCare]

Another café has been opened to give people with disabilities the opportunity to gain valuable work and social experience.

Supported employees with a disability will begin working at The Plant Room café, operated by The Disability Trust co-located in a dementia care village at HammondCare Horsley, NSW.

The café offers barista-made coffee and quality fresh food, open to both the local community as well as HammondCare Horsley residents, their visiting loved ones, and staff.

Two supported employees along with two of their staff members, will be on shift at The Plant Room café at any time.  

Before supported employees begin work with the Disability Trust, they are given an opportunity to outline what their goals are, including where they would like to be in 12-18 months.

One of the supported employees who work at the café Isabella (Izzy), 23, said she has a long-term goal to further her training in hospitality with a view to working in open employment.

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The Plant Room supported worker Brett Grimson offering scrambled egg on toast to patrons. [Source: HammondCare]

Local chef Lorenzo Pagnan, will oversee training and food preparation.

“These supported employees will be taught to work in a fully operational kitchen with commercial equipment like coffee machines and the challenge of preparing food to order,” he said.

HammondCare Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Baird opened The Plant Room together with The Disability Trust’s CEO, Carol Berry, at Horsley at a small event with catering supplied by The Plant Room.

HammondCare CEO Mike Baird (centre) with Plant Room Cafe staff Jonathon and Izzy (square)
HammondCare CEO Mike Baird with Izzy and Jonathon at the opening. [Source: HammondCare]

Ms Berry said the café was The Disability Trust’s second Plant Room and its philosophy is to create a more inclusive world through employees and customers alike having a fantastic experience. 

“We want our staff to feel safe to practice their skills as well as produce high-quality food and coffee,” Ms Berry said. 

“Our goal with this venture is to develop the skills and experience of our supported employees so they can pursue open employment in the hospitality industry, should they choose to do so, and to maximise the chances of that transition being a great experience for them and their future employers.”

Mr Baird said, “We are delighted The Disability Trust has chosen to operate this café at Horsley that has potential to change the lives of people as they pick up new skills and experience.”

The Plant Room café will be open at Shone Ave, Horsley for coffee, snacks and café food, Monday – Saturday from 8am until 2.30pm.

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