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At-risk youth on the Gold Coast are benefiting from a new program run by OzHarvest and made possible by funding from the ETC Community Support Fund.

The Nourish Program provides 16-25 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds with an 18-week Certificate II in Kitchen Operations and Hospitality – covering basic cooking, nutrition and safety skills. It also covers communication and team work, resume writing and interview skills to strengthen the participant’s employment prospects at the end of the course.

National Nourish Program Manager, Belinda Woollett said the program had been successfully running in Sydney and Adelaide and was now being offered on the Gold Coast.

“OzHarvest identified a need for this free, educational program to be delivered to young people who may not have the means to complete training in this field. We have partnered with the Institute of Culinary Excellence and deliver Nourish with the support of volunteers, mentors and qualified industry professionals,” Belinda said.

“Eight young people recently graduated from the Nourish Program, overcoming challenging situations in their lives to successfully complete this qualification and open new opportunities for their future. We aim to re-engage participants, help them with their communication skills, boost their confidence and get them motivated and prepared for the workforce,” she said.

“The transformation since they first started has been incredible. Initially most were very shy and awkward, but it didn’t take long for them to gel. They’ve been very receptive and positive to the training they’ve received and we’ve seen some amazing results.”

ETC generously donated $10,000 which enabled OzHarvest to purchase equipment for a commercial kitchen. This donation will have a lasting impact on the delivery of the program, as the equipment purchased is essential to running the Nourish Program.

ETC will be making available $250,000 in community grants as part of the next round of the ETC Community Support Fund. Applications for the next round open 19 March. For further information and/or to apply to the ETC Community Support Fund visit www.etcltd.com.au/csf



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