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The Taree community is being encouraged to support a local social enterprise which is helping disadvantaged members of the community to gain skills to prepare them for the workforce.

The Red Dove Café which has been operating for 25 years, provides Barista training, kitchen-hand skills and waiter/waitressing, plus health, hygiene and personal presentation.

Café Manager Beate Brooks-Tracy said the enterprise aimed to support people from all walks of life. 

“We’re here to support people who would often get overlooked such as: young people in juvenile justice, people with disability, mums returning to the workforce, and youth just starting out. Plus we also accommodate many Work for the Dole participants,” Ms Brooks-Tracy said.

Ms Tracy said due to Red Dove Cafés growing customer base and the ongoing need to provide a training facility, an equipment upgrade was long overdue. 

“We had a very old coffee machine (approx. 20 years old!) which was no longer doing the job. The coffee machine is an essential part of our Café for both customers and for our training program. So we applied for the ETC Community Support Fund and was thrilled when we were successful for a $9,455 grant,” she said.

Coffee machine

“We’ve been able to purchase a much larger 2 group head machine and grinder. Plus a display fridge which now enables us to have our trainees/staff experiment with different recipes for cakes, salads – providing further skills. I’d like to say a big thank you to ETC for supporting us – the funding has been put to very good use.”

Ms Brooks-Tracy said the Café used its profits for social wellbeing and welfare services.

“The welfare services supported by our profits include provision of shower facilities and sanitary packs for homeless people; food parcels; and an open, free food table once a week; advice and support through connection and referral with other agencies,” she said.

You can drop in and support the Red Dove Café, which is located at the back of the Manning Uniting Church in Albert Street, Taree.

Rod McKelvey having a coffee

ETC Chairman Rod McKelvey said it was a pleasure to be able to support the Red Dove Café.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr McKelvey said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.

The next round of ETC’s Community Support Fund opens on 18 March 2019

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