Now And Not Yet Café is an iconic part of the community in Warrandyte, Victoria. As a social enterprise, the café’s profits go back into local group initiatives, housing and employment opportunities.
The Café is unlike most due to the passion and leadership of owner Derek Bradshaw, who embraces a diverse workforce and believes we all have talents to share.
“Our staff have amazing skills, and they just can’t get an opportunity to use them”, says Derek.
“We thought, ‘why don’t we utilise our amazing little café to help with training and employing people,’” he says.
Now And Not Yet’s commitment to diversity sets a prominent example to other businesses. The café’s team, which includes six volunteers with disability, brings assorted skills from their different life experiences.
Emily joined the team this March, after being introduced through EPIC Assist. Emily has experience working in cafés and is enjoying her volunteer role immensely.
“I love doing the dishes, taking orders and taking food out to the people in the café,” says Emily.
“It feels amazing to have a job. I feel good that I am working and have a busy week,” she says.
Now And Not Yet’s Volunteer Director Lisa says Emily has flourished in her role and has a desire to spend more time working for the café.
“Her confidence has grown quickly. She enjoys her time with us and gets on really well with everyone in the team,” says Lisa.
“We all adore Emily, she is a happy and sensitive soul,” she says.
Too often, people with disability are underestimated and struggle to be given a chance when looking for employment. Employers who break down the barriers will discover people from a diverse background and those with disability can bring many benefits to a business.
“There is a stigma about hiring people with disability, but you just have to view it with an open mind,” says Lisa.
“The community have embraced Emily and others with disability. Over the last three years we have not had one complaint, only praise and support of what we are doing.”
Lisa says investing in their volunteers’ skill building and future workplace success is so worthwhile.
“One volunteer required a little extra time to learn a particular skill. But once they did, it was done perfectly with exact precision every single time,” says Lisa.
“Each person has talents, you just have to find them.”
“Now and Not Yet was born out of an idea to help others and to give back to the community of Warrandyte. Which is why our amazing group of volunteer staff – the heroes, play such a vital role in our day to day,” she says.