The Aviary Cafe, Jenny.

Jenny’s life revolves around her kids. She’s a single mum raising her 6 kids in Norlane. For Jenny, the prospect of finding work is difficult, and while she has developed numerous skills through motherhood over the past 22 years, her resume is poor.

The fact that Jenny is lonely and socially isolated further diminish her hopes of finding employment through connections.

GWYL Appeal Avairy

Sadly, Jenny’s situation is not a unique one in Norlane. One in five people in the neighbourhood experience regular unemployment – a problem often exacerbated by social isolation.

Luckily, there are organisations like The Aviary Cafe, a social enterprise of Norlane Community Initiatives. The Aviary Cafe helps people like Jenny, and those experiencing long-term unemployment through skills development and workplace experience. In their first year of operation, Owner-Operators Kaylene (pictured) and Simon Reeves established 6 new jobs, 30 volunteer and work experience placements.

The cafe has also served more than 10,000 customers meals of high nutritional quality. For people like Jenny who are experiencing social isolation, the cafe offers a connection point to the rest of the community. On the days that Jenny doesn’t volunteer at the cafe she still comes into the cafe for the sense of community that it brings.

The Give Geelong Appeal is all about supporting organisations like the Aviary Cafe and people like Jenny. It’s about supporting community connections that help people such as Jenny.  This year, more than ever, keeping our community connected is so important.

If it’s within your means to do so, you can pledge your support to the Give Geelong Appeal which is running over May 14, 15 and 16 by donating here.

For those experiencing hardship, Give Where you Live  provides a list of the 72 groups around our region where you can find emergency food relief and support.

Story: supplied. Photo: supplied, shows Kaylene Reeves.