Harry finds the heart for hospitality

Harry finds the heart for hospitality

Harry was a young school leaver when he first came to Maggie and Mr Jones café in Ballina, undertaking work experience as part of the NDIS School Leaver Employment Support program.

He did so well at his work experience that Maggie and Mr Jones (a social enterprise café) offered him on-going paid employment in the team.

After a successful ten months working in the café, and with support from Petar Ilic from ON-Q, Harry’s service skills were brought to the attention of the CEO of the Ballina RSL, Bill Coultier. Bill was impressed when he witnessed Harry’s friendly and efficient style during a very busy morning in the café.

Harry was invited to attend a recruitment process with the RSL and was thrilled to gain employment with the club in March this year.

In a larger environment with more tasks and responsibilities, Harry is really enjoying his new role, saying “I’m really liking it here and I’ve already made good friends which makes it fun. I mainly work in the café as well as on the floor so I get to meet a lot more people and practice my communication skills. Maggie’s was great for me to gain confidence and the skills needed to get me into this job”.

His employer Bill is also thrilled with Harry’s work performance, saying “Harry fits in with the team so well. He is jovial, happy and exudes a lot of energy that rubs off on us all. In hospitality it’s important to have a great personality and interact well with the customers, like Harry does. He’s a great addition to the Ballina RSL team!”

Maggie and Mr Jones (or just ‘Maggie’s’ to the locals) is a social enterprise café, owned and operated by ON-Q Disability Employment Support Services.  Founded in 1988, ON-Q is a not for profit company that enables people with disability to realise their full potential through participation in meaningful employment.

Being a social enterprise Maggie and Mr Jones exists to provide training and employment opportunities for people in the Ballina community with disability. It’s “coffee with a purpose”.

Maggie’s is well known for its atmosphere, food and excellent coffee (rated in top 2 according to Beanhunter reviews).

“ON-Q’s purpose is to increase workforce participation rates for people with a disability. We are extremely proud of Harry and will continue to support and follow his progress at the Ballina RSL. The initial training ground at Maggie’s has given Harry the skills and confidence to progress in his career. Harry is another success story for our social enterprise café and a great example of the support ON-Q provide”, CEO for ON-Q, Lisa Smith, stated.

The local community is invited to attend Maggie and Mr Jones three year birthday celebrations on June 11, from 10am.

You can find more information about Disability Employment Services provided by ON-Q

Michelle Dowding

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