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Matty’s Kitchen Rules

5 April 2017 Wesley Mission news

Wesley impact news Easter 2017 MattyWesley Vision Valley’s Matthew ‘Matty’ Biddiscombe is about to trade in his well-worn gardening gloves for a pair of the disposable variety as he moves out of the garden and into the kitchen.

“Cooking is my passion. I’ve always wanted to work in the kitchen,” said Matty, who will soon join the Wesley Catering team and kickstart his dream of working in the food industry. He will be helping to prepare and deliver impeccable food–canapés, hot and cold buffets, personalised menus and more–for functions and events.

Matty joined Wesley Mission almost five years ago via our supported employment services, which help people with a disability find employment and training opportunities that match their goals.

The opportunity to work with Wesley Catering is a result of increased demand for the team’s services. What began as an in-house service for Wesley Mission’s conference centre is now marketing itself to external clients, providing them with a professional, high-quality service along with the opportunity to support Wesley Mission’s work.

One of Wesley Catering's newest clients is the NSW Department of Justice, which has engaged Wesley Catering via National Disability Services. Securing this contract has fast-tracked plans to place supported employees in the catering team.

“As a certified Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE), Wesley Mission currently provides employment support to around 100 employees with disabilities,” said Rick Lyddiard, NSW Operations Manager for Wesley Employment Services.

Wesley Catering's head chef, Dean Jones, explains: “We have a kitchen here, and a team who has time to welcome and train new staff. I want to give people that real-world, on-the-job training, to build skills that can transfer over to other employment.”

Matty, for one, is excited about the opportunity. Dean encourages him: “I think you’re capable of pretty much everything! If you don’t know it, you just don’t know it yet. So we’ll show you and you’ll learn.”