COMMUNITY Café 11 in Boonah is marking its first birthday this month.
The cafe will celebrate the occasion on July 20 at Carinity Fassifern Community Centre on Little High Street from 10am.
Community development co-ordinator Samantha Caves said the café was established by Carinity to help people with a disability and youth at risk of prolonged unemployment and homelessness to work in a real eatery.
“The purpose and vision of the café is to provide a community-run café whereby local young people and people with disability can learn all aspects of hospitality,” Ms Caves said.
“Staff and volunteers, who have expert and current industry knowledge, mentor the Community Café 11 personnel.
“Their mentorship provides students with an opportunity to obtain work experience and skill development in food preparation, cake decoration, barista training, customer service, money handling skills, and safe work and hygiene practices.
Ms Caves said the café initiative strengthened social engagement and ties within the local community, enriching the lives of others through the provision of affordable, tasty and healthy low-cost dishes.
“We have found over the past 12 months the café has provided a vital resource that strengthens the local community and enriches the lives of local people, through the provision of services and activities which meet local needs,” she said.
“It started as a social enterprise as part of our Get Set for Work program and initially we were open one morning a week.
“Now we are at the point where we are open on Wednesdays and Fridays and we also do takeaways and additional functions.”
Ms Caves said some of the café personnel are working towards a Certificate II in Work Skills and Vocational Pathways and the NDIS clients have thrived since becoming involved.
“The guys who have been diagnosed with a disability have really come out of their shells and developed important skills,” she said.
The café has extended an open invitation to anyone who would like to see what the program is about.
“We have birthday cake, badges for the volunteers and certificates of appreciation to give out on the day,” Ms Caves said.
“We even have a piano player coming so we can sing happy birthday.”