Gabrielle brews and serves a warm cup of rewarding employment

Wednesday, 5 July 2023

There’s an old saying that goes ‘home is any four walls with the right people.’ It plays on the idea that, no matter where you go or how far you travel, you can settle yourself down wherever you choose.

And while that’s certainly a light-hearted way to look at things, let’s be real, moving is always a tough ask. But sometimes it’s the right thing to do. A fresh start, a change of scenery, something to usher you into a new stage of your life. This tornado of mixed emotions was what was going through the minds of Gabrielle and her partner as they decided to pack their bags and move to Bundaberg.

This was a huge step for them, Gabrielle was taking her first steps towards real stability, and even with several hospitality jobs under her belt from previous years, seeking out a new one is never an easy thing to do.

After settling down in Bundy, Gabrielle thought about securing a good job so she could properly relax in her new environment. She had partnered with employment agencies in the past but had decided to move companies, and by chance, discovered EPIC Assist and decided to try her luck.

EPIC Assist (EPIC) is a local Disability Employment Services (DES) provider that connects job-ready people with disability with supportive and inclusive workplaces.

When we asked Gabrielle about why she decided to partner with EPIC, she was very up front with her reasoning.

“I wanted to be with a group that could focus and actually listen. See my problems for what they are and work with me to try to solve them. And I have not been failed in that at all. EPIC have always stood up for me and kept me as a priority. Which is something I appreciate.”

Our EPIC team at Bundaberg sat Gabrielle down and heard her story, and then immediately got to work trying to find her a job in hospitality.

She explained to them she’d always preferred hospitality work as she loves how she feels like she’s “part of a community when serving people.” To be a part of everyone’s daily grind, and gradually get to know her regulars better and better as the days roll on by.

Gabrielle behind the counter at the Deli Cafe with a warm smile
Gabrielle greeting her regulars with a warm smile.

Work itself is also very important to Gabrielle, and she has a special appreciation for the role it has in her life, and to a larger extent – everyone’s.

“Work keeps me very motivated and on track. It keeps my days rolling through, I don’t get lost in the day-to-day things if I’m working. I can focus much easier.”

It wasn’t long before EPIC got in contact with a local café called “The Deli.” The Deli had been approached by EPIC about supporting them with some of their job seekers, and co-managers Hayley and Ashton jumped at the opportunity. The two loved the idea of taking on people with disability and helping out those that would normally struggle to find employment.

“That’s what we’re all about!” they had exclaimed.

Turns out that their generosity would be the stroke of luck that Gabrielle was looking for, as not long after she had started trialling at The Deli, she fell in love with the place.

Fast forward to now and she’s been putting in the hours for a few months, her positive attitude only improving since then. She feels that The Deli has that community focused mindset that speaks directly to her passion for hospitality.

“They focus on bringing the community in and having a good meal and a great conversation. I’ve been loving it here. My customers have always been such a big part of my life. And I do have great bosses.”

Gabrielle works the front counter at The Deli Cafe. Customers and regulars alike are greeted by her infectious smile as soon as they walk in for a cuppa.

She’s proud of how far she’s come and how many responsibilities she has in her role.

“I do all your coffees, drinks, anything like that. I also help the boys out the back, help pick up, clean up, just make sure their lives are a little smoother for them.”

Gabrielle feels much more secure now in her life after getting settled into her position at the Deli Café. Reflecting on her experience, she explained to us just how much she feels she’s improved in her life thanks to her steady employment.

Gabrielle standing with her Deli Cafe team out front.
Gabrielle with her Deli Cafe team out front.

“I’ve definitely improved on my communication as well as dealing with stressful situations, I think I’ve done that really well. And also, just getting myself out there talking to more people more often.”

With this newfound stability in her life, Gabrielle has been able to look forwards in life and think about what lies ahead for her. It turns out that her habit of moving around is one that she wants to continue all through all her life.

“I have a travel bug, always have, as long as I’m near water I’m always happy.”

Her ideal future is to keep up a career of hospitality but do it on the road, an ever-changing scenery becoming Gabrielle’s permanent scenery.

With her in a spot that she can settle comfortably, Gabrielle says she hasn’t felt this good in a long time and feels right at home at The Deli in Bundaberg.

Before we finished talking with her, Gabrielle made sure to extend her gratitude to the team at EPIC Assist.

“If you’re thinking of joining any disability support group or work group, I would choose EPIC.

“It’s a great group to join if you’re looking for someone to help you get back into the workforce. They have a real comradery in the team they work with. And they genuinely listen, hear your issues, and try to solve them. They work together with you to get you to the place that you need to be.

“They appreciate you, and they show the care.”

You can be sure that wherever Gabrielle’s travelling journey takes her, she’ll always have a reliable companion in our EPIC team.

If you are living with a disability, injury, health condition, or mental health condition and looking to find meaningful employment, contact EPIC Assist today.

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