Hi. My name is Ian. I work at the Salvation Army Café as a kitchen assistant, helping serve pensioners a hot dinner. I worked diligently twice a week, Monday & Thursday, for many years. Sadly, due to dropping numbers and economic cutbacks, the café was forced to end its Thursday meal service. I was really sad and upset with the news at first, not only for the pensioners but for myself.

The thought of filling my Thursdays by attending another adult day centre or sitting around at home was not for me. I decided I could either let this knock me back, or I could use it as an opportunity to move forward towards a career. The choice was easy.

I set my goal to work in a professional kitchen, a real café. I was supported by my enablers to make enquiries at all the local cafes and to register with job agencies. And like many job seekers, I went on many informal interviews and received many rejections. But I didn't let this dampen my enthusiasm to get a job. On the contrary, with every interview I grew more and more confident in presenting myself and what I could contribute.

In the end, my perseverance paid off, and I found the perfect job. I now work in a professional café, one that helps fund projects for the homeless. I love it there. I feel I have more responsibility, confidence, and understanding of the catering industry than ever before. After an amazing start, I have built up a great relationship with the staff and with the customers alike. Plus it feels great to be helping give back to the community again, by playing an integral part of it.