What are your areas of special interest / particular skills?
I manage the Social Enterprise Café which helps people in recovery to reconnect with their community. We support our volunteers to engage in on-the-job learning in the café. We provide certified qualifications and employability skills in a safe working environment. The café also supports local people who suffer with isolation, food poverty, homelessness and mental illnesses.
What do you enjoy most about your role with Barod?
There are too many things to mention. I enjoy being part of a cohort of dedicated teams, all with the same mindset. I love helping people in my community to walk a little taller and being a small part of a person’s journey into employment or inclusion.
What is it like to work in your area of Wales or in your specific service?
I am lucky enough to be able to walk to work, so am very passionate about my community and the people who live in it. Being able to influence change in this area is fantastic. The service we provide is quite unique as it is the final piece in the puzzle when it comes to fitting in to societies and becoming part of the workforce. Seeing the confidence build in someone from when the first arrive in the Café is the most rewarding part of this job. Building resilience and breaking down barriers is when you begin to see the volunteers to flourish.
Please tell us about your average day.
As soon as the Café opens we have a flow of customers wanting a cuppa and a chat. The volunteers will learn how to cook basic meals and cakes, use the coffee machine and tills and provide a high level of customer service. I manage all day to day activities included in running the café, but my job also includes liaising with referrers onto our program, attending third sector meetings and seeking places of employment for our volunteers to move into. I help with CV’s, interview preparation, job searching and general confidence building to prepare them for their next steps when they are ready.
I also arrange the volunteer and staff development and learning. I apply for grants and funding opportunities and see what is happening in the community so that we can be a part of.
No two days are the same here in Café Tyfu, and I think that is what makes this job so interesting.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
‘Never judge someone unless you have walked in their shoes’
Always try to find the good in someone and try to help them to see it too.