HELP2HELP’S NEW AUSTRALIA INITIATIVE

Barringtons  are proud to be partnering with not-for-profit organisation help2help with their new initiative in Australia, Ratha’s Place.

Since 2011 help2help has been providing education, health and humanitarian services to the people of rural Cambodia. In 2017 help2help commenced operations of help2help Australia with view to providing support to disadvantaged groups, specifically within the Sydney Basin.

help2help’s intention is to provide services such as a Meals on Wheels type program, Meals for the Homeless, Veteran Support and Breakfast for Disadvantaged Schools. Disability is dear to the hearts of those involved with help2help and given that the disability sector is one of the most disadvantaged groups in Australia, the current project of opening and operating cafés for people with varying abilities, will provide the launching pad for the services of help2help Australia.

The first Ratha’s Place will open in St Marys mid-July 2018, with a second Ratha’s Place opening in Oak Flats late August. At full operation, each café will employ approximately fifteen people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ratha’s Place is named after a young severely disabled boy, subject to child trafficking in rural Cambodia but saved by the charity. He was the inspiration for help2help back in 2011. Today, his name adorns the commercial restaurant we have set up on site at the help2help centre in rural Cambodia where we have built a 14 classroom skills school. Our hospitality students work through the restaurant as work experience before obtaining employment in the cities.

Labour force participation rates for people with disability in Australia are low. In 2012, the labour force participation rate for people with disability was 52.8%, compared with 82.5% for people without a disability. This figure has changed very little over the past 20 years. Our partners want to be part of changing the statistics, training people and changing perceptions by showcasing individual abilities through meaningful employment.

Barringtons, Hennessy’s and Blacktown Workers Group have jumped on board as major supporters for the Ratha’s Place project and will be providing ongoing support in training for prospective and existing employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Together with help2help Foundation Sponsors ClubsNSW, Club Rivers, Wests Ashfield Leagues, Club Windang and Moorebank Sports Club we intend to make a difference for those with different abilities.

Long-term help2help supporter, John Hennessy together with his team is supporting the venture with coffee equipment and product, whilst Blacktown Workers Group has partnered in providing land at their Hubertus site to set up Ratha’s Gardens, which will allow us to grow produce to be used in the cafes.

By providing ongoing support to the Ratha’s Place project, the charity will be able to fast-track their expansion of opening multiple cafes throughout Australia to provide employment for people with disabilities in various communities.

Of course, a project such as this cannot operate without funding. Should your club wish to contribute in any way, please do not hesitate in contacting your local Barringtons representative or Blayne Webb blayne@help2help.org.au.