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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cruisin’ Café hits the street to help youth stay on track

A new Youth Mobile Training Van – aka Cruisin’ Cafe – has hit the streets of Canberra, thanks to a collaboration between Canberra PCYC, the Snow Foundation and local business and community organisations.

The Cruisin’ Café was unveiled on Wednesday 14 October and will offer a place for Canberra’s Youth to train in hospitality skills alongside a supportive team.

Canberra PCYC CEO Cheryl O’Donnell said the mobile van would deliverer an innovative way for Canberra’s youth to learn.

“This program is designed to help these youth become their best. Not only will they gain qualifications in Hospitality and Barista, but they will also be supported by a dedicated team who can help them manage the issues that may be holding them back,” she said.

Training opportunities will be linked to the Salvation Army Employment Plus, which will engage potential employers for program participants with training carried out by the College of Transformation Education & Training.

A grant for the vehicle was provided by The Snow Foundation, which was then upgraded by Food Trailer King at no extra cost.

Ms O’Donnell said she was overwhelmed by the community support for the project, which would see 10 young people per cohort through the college and the van operating five days per week eventually.

“There has been so much community support. We are so grateful for the support and believing in a positive future for these young people,” she said.

“The first group start their training next week, and the second group will come on a couple of weeks after that.”

Ms O’Donnell said they had already acquired a number of sites to park the mobile van across Canberra, with businesses already approaching Canberra PCYC about the Cruisin’ Café coming to their events.

The Snow Foundation director Stephen Byron said the initiative would help to “fill the gaps” within the youth sector, helping provide employment and breaking the welfare cycle.

“This is a great example of how we can help fill the gaps with a one-off grant, to help grassroots entrepreneurial initiatives like this get off the ground,” he said. “And to help people reach their potential by creating new and different pathways that lead them to a better future.”

Cosmorex Coffee provided the van’s coffee machine and supply, with all profits made from the Cruisin’ Café going straight back into the program.

The Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Linda unveiled the new van at Brindabella Business Park.

“Life cannot be kind to some people through no fault of their own, and it is organisations like PCYC that don’t judge but reach out and help young people,” Mr Hurley said.

“This is just another enormous opportunity for these youngsters to learn.”

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