An extensive refurbishment of the Baillie Henderson Hospital cafeteria has come to fruition with the opening of Café Abuzz.
Darling Downs Health Executive Director of Infrastructure Dr Paul Clayton said the revitalised café would provide an ideal meeting place where staff could enjoy nutritious food while catching up outside the office setting.
"Our Darling Downs Health Wellness team worked closely with Ability Enterprises to develop menu choices that include plenty of healthy options which can be enjoyed in a completely refurbished café," Dr Clayton said.
"The café building redevelopment included an extensive fit-out with new décor and furnishings inside, a commercial grade coffee machine, new refrigeration and an upgraded kitchen.
"It’s being run as a social enterprise in conjunction with Ability Enterprises so we’re very happy to have a facility here on site that is not only a great amenity for our staff, it’s also providing new employment opportunities."
Ability Enterprises general manager Bruce Russell said the creation of opportunities was what the collaboration was all about.
"Our mission at Ability Enterprises is to provide jobs to people who have barriers to employment, primarily lived experience with mental illness," he said.
"We were approached by Darling Downs Health to look at the possibility of opening a café here to provide opportunities to people with barriers to employment and we thought it was a natural fit for us because we work closely with Toowoomba Clubhouse.
"We saw the opportunity to build upon the Certificate III Hospitality training Toowoomba Clubhouse does, so there’s a natural progression between study, then coming here to work, and then hopefully moving to mainstream employment.
"So that’s our purpose here. Our profit is to make jobs so if we can make this successful we’ll create more jobs, and create more opportunities to learn and earn."