Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published September 3rd 2013
Free food and entertainment
Tucked away between the St Mark's church Fawkner and the primary school, just off Sydney Road, is a little old portable with a bright yellow sign 'Hope Café'. It's advertising free hot food and live entertainment every Thursday night.
I love the name and it starts me wondering. Who started the initiative, why was there a need, how long has it been operating, who works there and who keeps it going? I wonder who visits the café and if they need hope? So I chase up the school principal Michael to find out.
The café has been operating for three years by parishioners, mainly from St Mark's church. While there are some key people involved there are many volunteers who work on a rotational basis. Unlike similar projects elsewhere, this one has never floundered.
The volunteers who prepare and serve the food have to have a food handling certificate and working with children's check. People affiliated with the parish such as the Youth group provide the entertainment.
The Hope café serves 30-50 people every Thursday. This is self-sustaining with all the food being donated. It was originally set up for the homeless but extends to many others to include the lonely or those in emergency accommodation. The parish bus is used to pick up those known to be in need.
The cafe aims to provide 5 star restaurant experience with choice of more than two courses. There is a waiter to table service, all delivered with a smile.
What a clever and appropriate restaurant name. Hope is such a powerful motivator. I hope they continue to help those who have little hope. I am hopeful that they make a difference to those who need a little care and happiness and to those who give so generously to others.