Connexions Community Cafe serves more than cappuccinos

NEW CHALLENGE: Celebrating the Connexions Community Cafe are Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation executive officer Jason Bourke, Challenge CEO Barry Murphy, cafe worker Luke Pritchard and the Charitable Foundation’s acting chairman Barrie Lewis. Photo: Barry Smith 040714BSB02

NEW CHALLENGE: Celebrating the Connexions Community Cafe are Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation executive officer Jason Bourke, Challenge CEO Barry Murphy, cafe worker Luke Pritchard and the Charitable Foundation’s acting chairman Barrie Lewis. Photo: Barry Smith 040714BSB02

TAMWORTH’s newest cafe is serving up opportunities for young adults with disabilities. 

The Challenge Connexions Community Cafe is equipped with a wheelchair-accessible commercial kitchen, a new dining area, 

a technology hub to help with business affairs and a vegetable garden.

Their “from yard to plate” philosophy means that home-grown veggies and herbs will be on the menu, with other organic produce sourced locally.

The venture was made possible by a $53,000 grant given to Challenge Community Services from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation. 

The foundation’s acting chairman Barrie Lewis said the cafe would generate income to be funnelled into other Challenge programs. 

Luke Pritchard is participating in the Connexions program and said he was excited to be brewing cappuccinos for customers. 

The program offers accredited courses and will develop practical skills, such as growing food, cooking, budgeting, shopping and serving customers. 

Challenge Community Services CEO Barry Murphy said the cafe was a training ground for young people with a disability and would help build their confidence.

“We recognised that our young adults were missing out in the larger group sessions so we created this program, which is tailor-made for them and is delivering excellent results in helping them reach their full potential,” Mr Murphy said. 

The centre will operate Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 3.30pm at Challenge Community Services, 101a Johnston St, with 25 young adults participating in the program.

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