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When a coffee can change the course of a life

The Chit-Chat Coffee, Global Village Training Café, an initiative of the Baw Baw LLEN and supported through the Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) multicultural friendship group, is open for business at the Moe Library.

The coffee cart offers training opportunities and boosts language skills for those who take part in the program. About 40 people have undergone the training which involves learning barista and safe food handling skills.

Rachel, a new volunteer, and Ada enrolled in the program because they were both looking to meet new people and learn new skills. They have enjoyed learning about coffee making and customer service skills and have improved their English as a result. And the best part has been getting to know the other volunteers and forming friendships.

Mentor, Katherine, did the training and now coordinates the roster of volunteers. She has gained useful workplace skills as well as confidence. She is now looking for paid employment.

Debra, LCHS settlement worker, says the hardworking volunteers are “starting to see what we see in them.”

And the real winners are the library staff and patrons who can buy their coffee on site from local people with a passion for giving back to their community.

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