A CAFÉ dedicated to addressing the problem of unemployment is one of 72 projects to receive funding from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) in its latest grant round, which saw $2.87 million awarded to community groups and organisations across the state.
Hamlet Inc., located in Hobart, received a $279,000 grant from the TCF for the launch of the charity’s second social enterprise, Hamlet Catering Co.
Hamlet Inc. chief executive officer Emily Briffa said the charity existed to tackle the issue of unemployment in Tasmania.
“To date, we have provided more than 16,000 hours of work experience opportunities to people facing significant barriers to unemployment,” she said.
“We currently have a wait list of more than six months and this grant will allow us to increase our intake numbers by 100 people in the first two years.”
Delivered over three years, Ms Briffa said the grant would allow time for the new catering enterprise to become completely self-sufficient.
“We’re extremely excited to receive a grant like this, as it will really allow us to achieve some amazing outcomes in the community with long-term success,” she said.
“We’d like to give a big thank you to the TCF Board – they’re supporting projects that meet the needs of Tasmanians and without organisations like them, a lot of projects wouldn’t be able to get off the ground.
“The TCF really deserves recognition for the amazing work they continue to support.”
Twenty-one-year-old Liam McManus does work experience at Hamlet Café, working front of house and in the kitchen.
“I’ve run into some difficulties finding jobs, but this opportunity at Hamlet will lay the ground work so when I do get a job, my repertoire and résumé will speak for myself, and I’ll have many months’ worth of qualification and skill,” Mr McManus said.
“So many people have anxieties, problems and issues that stop them from progressing in life and it halts their capabilities.
“This establishment gives a good opportunity to anyone out there to get that talent and skill, as well as help boost their confidence and understanding for anything to do with employment.”
In addition to Hamlet Inc., three more large grants were awarded to organisations to assist in projects focused on increasing workforce engagement, which TCF chairwoman Sally Darke said was a key focus area for the TCF and much needed in our state.
“The large grants include Youth Family and Community Connections’ ‘Fit for Work’ program to work with at-risk youth, Flourish Mental Health Action in our Hands Inc for its Peer Worker Service, and Dress for Success Hobart,” she said.
Ms Darke said the grants would make a positive difference in the lives of many individuals and communities.
“It is a great source of pride for the TCF Board to support so many worthwhile projects and programs in Tasmania through these grants,” she said.
“After distributing our $100 millionth dollar from the Fund earlier this year, it is important for us to continue to meet the changing needs of the Tasmanian community, and workforce participation is certainly one of those areas.
“The TCF continues to strategically evolve its funding programs to better meet the needs of Tasmanians by focusing on workforce engagement, community wellbeing and community infrastructure.”
The Fund’s next general grant round, round 39, will open on 13 July.
Guidelines and links to application forms will be available on the website at www.tascomfund.org or by contacting the TCF office on telephone 6232 7043 or 6232 7269.
The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.
An independent funding body, the Fund provides grants to community organisations that make a difference by improving the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.
Caption: From left, TCF chairwoman Sally Darke, Hobart Hamlet Café work experience participants Jack Delaney and Liam McManus and Hamlet Inc. chief executive officer Emily Briffa.