When Ahmed moved to Australia, he had some trouble adjusting.

He struggled with mental health problems, which made it more difficult for him to learn English, complete his education, make friends, and find employment.

Before long, he’d become socially withdrawn, and had come into contact with the criminal justice system. He was given a community corrections order that allowed him to complete his hours volunteering at Second Chance Coffee, VACRO’s social enterprise coffee kiosk.

When Ahmed started at Second Chance Coffee, he was nervous and withdrawn. But in the supportive, warm and encourage environment, he quickly found his feet. Our kiosk staff identified Ahmed’s fear of social interaction, and encouraged him to face this fear by starting to serve customers. He initially found this responsibility really difficult. But with support from the team, he started coming out of his shell.

Ahmed is funny, warm and hard-working, and his personality started shining through as he interacted with customers. In time, he created excellent relationships with regulars, and even learnt to manage difficult customers well. The change in Ahmed is important enough, but with our support, he began to see his own progress, and started to express how proud he was of his own achievements.

At the end of Ahmed’s order, he told the Second Chance Coffee staff through tears how grateful he was for their patience, support and encouragement. He said he was immensely proud of himself for the new skills he had learnt.

Ahmed’s experience is a great example of how focusing on individual people can lay good foundations that enable people to find their own strengths. With this new knowledge came the confidence for Ahmed to move forward.

After finishing at Second Chance Coffee, Ahmed started studying a warehouse management course, to build new skills and boost his employment prospects.

From being socially withdrawn and insecure, to chatting easily with customers and recognising his own successes, Ahmed grew significantly during his time at Second Chance Coffee. Now, he has his future in his own hands, as he prepares to start an exciting new career.

More information about Second Chance Coffee