When Max* began volunteering at Ignite Café, he had difficulty holding a conversation, and lacked the skills and confidence he needed to find work.
Jesuit Social Services’ Ignite Café – a not-for-profit café in Camberwell, Melbourne – is more than just a place for volunteers like Max to practise their employability skills, Café Manager Thea says.
“Ignite is a place where people who may feel disengaged and disconnected from life and community have a chance to recognise themselves as having a place in society, having value.”
Thea says that Max has become one of Ignite’s strongest volunteers.
“Not only has he built the skills he needs for work, but he’s developed a desire to become more independent and engage more with life outside his family home. Now he’s bantering with team members and customers, and he has stories to share around the dinner table. He’s found a sense of purpose and pride and he’s able to relate more to other people.”