For Michael Otto, working at Araluen’s Chancez cafe at the Mill Park library provides an opportunity to meet new people.
Mr Otto is one of Araluen’s trainees who has been given the chance to work at the new cafe, which was set up with the help of the disability support service, Yarra Plenty Regional Library (YPRL) and Bunnings.
“I like learning work skills at Chancez at Mill library because people here are patient and like to have a talk,” Mr Otto said.
“I like making cappuccinos and working on the cash register.”
Araluen, which is one of the biggest support services for adults with intellectual disabilities in the north-eastern suburbs, already runs a cafe at the Epping Community Services Hub.
The cafes will provide Araluen’s clients with the chance to learn valuable skills and complete industry-recognised qualifications that can lead to a job.
YPRL chief executive Di Shaw said the new Mill Park cafe was helping to break down the stigma of disability in the community.
The Mill Park cafe is one of the first projects from the Whittlesea Community Futures Partnership Project Prospectus to come to fruition.
The prospectus was launched in June and aims to bring together philanthropists, community service organisations, government departments, businesses and local communities to address social disadvantage issues.
Mayor Kris Pavlidis said the prospectus has 14 key projects aimed at early intervention, prevention and providing targeted support to disadvantaged communities.
“Our municipality is home to a high proportion of communities that are vulnerable to disadvantage, communities that often face complex challenges,” she said.
The cafe is 394 Plenty Road, Mill Park.