Once the domain of discos, Blue Light is now moving into cafes and creating job opportunities for young Moorabool people.

‘Barista Blue’ has been launched at Lola’s Café and Expresso Bar in Bacchus Marsh with backing from Council, police and local businesses.

People aged 15-17 can apply by answering a few questions about why they want to take part and how they are helping the community.

The free barista program involves a course in West Melbourne that would normally cost $165 per person, as well as work experience at Lola’s on the corner of Main St and Gisborne Rd.

“This is a brilliant community idea for youth in Bacchus Marsh,” Cr Moira Berry said at today’s (Thursday) launch.

“The Blue Light team and a group of businesses headed by Leading Senior Constable Jim Ross have come up with a great program.

“Barista Blue will give opportunities for youth to improve their skills and allow them to add another experience to their resumes, helping them towards gaining employment.”

LSC Ross said at this stage more than 25 applications had come in for 30 places this year. Paperwork must be lodged by March 1.

☕️ Barista Blue ☕️ Together with Lola’s, Moorabool Shire Council, Professionals Arvee Real Estate, we are proud to…

Posted by Bacchus Marsh Community Bank Branch on Monday, February 8, 2021

Barista Blue is funded via donations from the Bacchus Marsh Bendigo Bank branch, Arbee Real Estate and the No Boundaries Charity Safari.

Member Justin O’Hara said over the last few years the Safari’s interstate car rallies had raised more than $5000 for the local Blue Light program.

“It’s fantastic to know that all the money we raise goes to a really great cause – and at a grassroots local level in the community,” the Coimadai man said.

“It’s helping local young people to get a start in their working life.”  

The group raises money through rally fees and “crazy stuff” they do along the way including dares, collections and coin tosses.

Cr Tonia Dudzik said she was grateful that local businesses were helping the next generation of baristas:

“I really want to thank Lolas, Arbee and the Bendigo Bank as well as Moorabool Council for supporting this fantastic initiative,” the East Moorabool councillor said.

“LSC Ross and the Blue Light team are creating great opportunities for young people.”

Bendigo Bank manager Ian Prince said Barista Blue was a great way to encourage volunteerism in young people.

“My message to young people is that this can be a stepping-stone for your career and your future,” he said.

“You don’t have to be academic to fulfil your goals or survive in society, you just have to find your niche.

“This program gives young people a chance to test the water and also learn the basics of customer service and hospitality.”

He also praised LSC Ross for his work with young Moorabool people over the last 15 years.

“Barista Blue was a void that came out of the fact that the Blue Light people couldn’t run any discos during COVID.

“They had to look at what else was out there.”

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Gabrielle Hodson
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