Isolated members of the community throughout Mullumbimby and the district can now access services via a mobile coffee cart: The Cart with Heart.
Community development worker at Mullumbimby and District Neighbourhood Centre Mel Williams says the idea is for the cart to be like a pop-up neighbourhood centre with the added benefit of coffee. ‘We identified a need in the community to be able to take resources we have at the Neighbourhood Centre out into communities, particularly places like Ocean Shores and Billinudgel,’ she said.
‘This will enable us to reach more people who need our services like food recovery, community support workers, and More than a Meal people.’
Ms Williams said the Cart would also be used to help give some hospitality skills to local unemployed people. ’In our Shire there is a lack of student placement opportunities in the industry and a lack of employment opportunities without qualifications or experience,’ she said.
The Cart with Heart project aimed to be as environmentally conscious as possible. ‘We want zero waste in the cart, so we’re not carrying any plastics, even our straws are paper. Also we’re going to create an activity whereby if people use a single-use coffee cup – we’ll have a bag of soil, gardening gloves and plants – so instead of throwing out their coffee cup they can put a plant in it and put straight into the ground as they will be biodegradable cups,’ she said.
According to Ms Williams this project had been a long-held dream for the team at the Neighbourhood Centre.
‘There’s so much potential and we’re very excited about it. So we’re really grateful to ETC for their $20,000 grant to make this dream a reality,’ she said.
Employment Training Community – ETC Board Chairman, Rod McKelvey, said it was a pleasure to be able to support the Mullumbimby and District Neighbourhood Centre with $20,000 towards The Cart with Heart.
‘The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,’ said Mr McKelvey.
‘Since 2012 we have given back $1 million to local communities through the ETC Community Support Fund. We are proud to be a not-for-profit company.’
ETC provides employment and training services in the Northern Rivers. If you need help finding a job,
are looking for staff or are interested in up-skilling, contact ETC on 1800 007 400 or visit www.etcltd.com.au.