Two of our original students now work for the Neighbourhood Centre: One is managing the coffee shop along with other duties, and one is working as a project officer.
At the request of students at Warwick Farm, a Certificate III in Micro Business was conducted and students were given the support they needed to complete and pass this course. For many of the students in the group, this was a first for them and they were very proud of their achievement. Many of those students are the ones who are employed in the enterprise and some of them are also attempting to set up their own business. The Woman's forum has become involved in order to provide seeding money. they have offered a business manager and a mentoring service to those who set up a small business.
In addition to these great outcomes, a new enterprise has just commenced of lawn mower for locals. They go out to mow lawns for those in the area at a very reduced price.
An internet cafe is also open on the premises and students who have already studied computers are assisting other participants to access the internet.
As a result of this program, there is also a women's health clinic being conducted out of the centre one day per week. There is also a chiropractor who provides a service one day per fortnight from the centre. A newsletter, Our Neighbourhood Our Future is the Warwick Farm community newletter which is distributed by students in the class.
Regular community events, fetes and information days are conducted by the current class and stalls are organised and manned by students and catered by the coffee shop, which is also the students. The coffee shop also provides service to local community, interagency and health meetings held on site.
The Heart Smart program, in partnership with the Department of Health, is also a partner with the Doorways program to encourage healthy exercise, walking and healthy eating programs.
Students have organised a range of seminars including Drug and Alcohol, and Community Safety.
Finally Links to Learning has agreed to partner with Liverpool TAFE Outreach to implement programs for the local youth.
Their goals for attending this course are as many and as varied as their backgrounds, however, all seek to improve their skills, both academic and social, so that they can contribute to their community and find meaningful employment.
These students are among the most vulnerable to economic change and find it difficult to develop new skills and seek employment in the current economic climate.
Warwick Farm Community is located in a housing estate. It is at postcode 2168 which is a highly significant postcode in terms of disadvantaged areas. (Vinson 2007) The aim of the partnership was to engage the community to develop their skills, their self awareness and to empower them to take control of all aspects of their lives and social settings. There was an intention to explore ways that we could assist those in the community to move on to work that they would be comfortable with and able to undertake without creating further stress.
This Doorways to the Future course is for anyone in the Warwick Farm community including long term unemployed, jobseekers. It is provided by TAFE Outreach, Liverpool at no cost. This course is a result of requests made by the local community to provide such training on a local level. Partners in this course include Warwick Farm Neighbourhood Centre and TAFE NSW. Other stakeholders in the overall project include the Salvation Army and Department of Health, working on the Food 4 Life Shopfront project.
At the end of the first round of subjects, students were able to work in the Food 4 Life Market which is providing Healthy Food Products at reduced costs and which encourages the community to endeavour to have healthy life and eating habits.
Vinson, Tony. 2007 Dropping Off The Edge The Distribution Of Disadvantage In Australia