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Before his next customer has even made it to the counter of the cafe, Bradley is already at work brewing up their hot beverage of choice – he knows them by name, and he knows what they order.

He’s only been working at the cafe of AnglicareSA’s Westbourne Park residential aged care site for a little more than three months, but already Bradley has shown a growth of skills, experience, and personal development far exceeding expectations.

“Working here I feel supported,” said Bradley, who is also part of AnglicareSA’s Post Care Pathways (PCP) program for young people leaving foster or residential care between the ages of 18 to 25.

“I feel part of the dynamic and it’s great to meet all the people – residents, visitors, and staff – and to hear their stories.”

It was 12 months ago that AnglicareSA’s Social Enterprise portfolio began a project to reinvigorate the cafes at the organisations residential aged care sites.

Executive General Manager, Social Enterprise, Dominic Gagliardi said there were a couple of key factors to the project including elevating the quality of product to commercial cafe level, which is important particularly in aged care where residents enjoy that social experience.

“Secondly, and I would say equally as important as that, is being able provide the opportunity for some of our other program participants to get a start in a job, or in Bradley’s case, to get to the next level,” Dominic said.

“That’s what Social Enterprise is about and what we do as a business unit. For us it was so important to connect Social Enterprise to aged care as well as to our programs involving young people.”

Bradley is making a coffee at a coffee machine. He faces away from the camera.

Through Post Care Pathways Bradley was provided with immediate access to housing that is safe, affordable, and appropriate, as well as individual support focusing on health, wellbeing, life skills, engagement in education, employment, and social inclusion.

The opportunity to be a part of the cafe team within AnglicareSA was one he didn’t want to miss out on.

“I was working night shifts at a Hungry Jacks from 10pm to 6am, so there was really no life to that,” he said.

A pair of hands tamps a coffee.

“But my support workers through PCP helped me get an interview for this job and fortunately I was successful.

“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.”

AnglicareSA Leaving and Post Care Services Manager, Jenna Masi, said the cafe project had significant social impact particularly in supporting the young people within the PCP program.

“Bradley fits in perfectly with the Social Enterprise project and the growth we’ve seen in him, the confidence he has, and the way he sees life has been amazing,” she said.

For Dominic, being able to employ someone like Bradley had been a resounding success for all involved.

“Fast forward three months from his interview, and Bradley is now running the cafe by himself, he’s contributing ideas, helping cafe manager Marie and putting his hand up to support other sites when they need additional help,” Dominic said.

“Our goal is to provide quality service and at the same time teach and educate. We now have other young people from PCP taking up similar opportunities across AnglicareSA aged care.”