Pride Cafe, Nambucca. Photo: Rob Wright/ The Coffs Coast Advocate
Pride Cafe, Nambucca. Photo: Rob Wright/ The Coffs Coast Advocate Rob Wright/The Coffs Coast Advoc

Pride Café facing closure

FROM the moment the Pride Café in Nambucca Heads opened its doors in May 2010, the response and encouragement from customers and hospitality training participants alike was heartening.

But it seems that like a lot of good things in life, all that strong community feeling is about to sadly come to an end.

The Training Café, a Social Enterprise initiative of NORTEC Employment and Training and initially funded in the first year by the Australian Government Jobs Fund program, has been struggling to attain ongoing viability.

After that first year of support, NORTEC committed $250,000 to keep the café open.

However, despite the efforts of staff and extensive efforts to secure other funding support the café is facing closure in mid-September.

Over the last two years, the café has not only become a landmark on the Pacific Highway at Bellwood but has also provided employment for over 30 staff, including one apprentice and five trainees.

By offering nutritious low-cost meals to the community, more than 1250 locals have supported the initiative.

The Pride Café has been a meeting place for many disadvantaged members of the local community.

Since opening, the café has supported approximately 100 jobseekers to gain a partial Certificate II in Hospitality and practical work experience, while a further 25 jobseekers took part in Healthy Living courses.

Project manager Peter Skinner said many of these jobseekers were also assisted in gaining their drivers licences.

"The skills and experiences gained by participating in these courses have resulted in many jobseekers improving their employment prospects as well as their overall life skills," he said.

"The staff, jobseekers, volunteers and work experience students would like to say a huge thank you to Clayton and

Jayne Donovan, the community and particularly all our regulars for their support over the last two years.

"We'd also like to thank the team at Valla Beach Tourist Park who recently gave the café the opportunity to provide catering for their business.

"Finally I would like to thank NORTEC for the courage to initiate such a fantastic social enterprise and for its continued financial support.

"We hope to continue to see members of the Nambucca Valley and travellers on the highway continue their support through until mid-September."

From the end of this month, the café will reduce operations to week days only.

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