An inspiring meals program at Pipsqueaks Early Learning Centre in Lara is making life easier for local families, while also providing a unique employment opportunity for two people with disability.

GenU School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) participants Gypsey and Tiana have gained paid employment as part-time kitchen hands supporting Pipsqueaks cook Kylie. The team is now preparing free daily dinners for the centre’s families, who pick up their food when they collect their children in the evening.

“We have had a fantastic response from families who are appreciative of that small load taken off their shoulders during this difficult time,” said Pipsqueaks Director Belinda Sullivan.

“By having Tiana and Gypsey working to support our cook Kylie, she’s able to not only assist the growth and development of their professional skills, but the girls also give Kylie additional support with her increased work load.”

Girls working in kitchen with mentor
Gypsey, left, working with cook Kylie. Tiana, right, in the kitchen at Pipsqueaks.

Gypsey said she was enjoying working in a child care environment.

“I like the kids and all of the staff. They are all so nice. I love when the kids come up and get food. They say thank you and say my name, which makes me happy. I love what I do here,” she said.

Tiana said she was learning new skills with every shift.

“I enjoy cutting up fruit and vegetables. I enjoy doing prep work for cooking. I enjoy cleaning up and getting all the dishes done,” she said.

“I like coming to Pipsqueaks to work because it’s fun and gets me out of the house.”

Pipsqueaks Early Learning Centre is a division of genU, which has been supporting people with disability and their families for more than 65 years.

Visit www.pipsqueakselc.org.au to learn more.

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genU Karingal St Laurence