This week sees the start of the annual relationship between Hale School, Scope Café and the Australian Barista Academy — a partnership that has become one of the most proactive charity relationships in our calendar. Each year, a group of Year 11 students from Hale School in Wembley Downs, WA, get together to raise money for Nulsen Charity, a charity which provides services and support for people with a range of disabilities.

The model is fairly simple and, for cafés who are looking to take an active role in the local community, easily repeatable. The programme is called ‘Open Early for a Cause’ and involves a dozen year 11 students who are both early risers and interested in participating in some extracurricular activity! The first step is for the students to attend an evening class at the Australian Barista Academy where they get some hands-on training in how to prepare and serve espresso coffee.

After their initial training at the Academy, the students are then sent off to Scope café in Floreat where, once a week for two months, the students are given the management of the café. As the name suggests, they aren’t there for the entire day: they have the run of the café from between 6:00am — 7:30am before being rushed off back to school.

All the money that is made during the hours that the students work goes towards supporting the charity. Scope coffee shop owner and former Hale student, Ben Minson, said, ‘Last year’s project was a great success. The community really supported the cause and came in extra early to buy coffees from the students. Hopefully the Hale Students this year, with the support of the public, can raise some more much needed fundraising dollars for Nulsen.’

In my opinion, this programme ticks all the boxes: the students get training, work experience and involvement in their local community while all the money ends up with people who need it most. If you head past Floreat on your way to work, make sure you drop by Scope in the Floreat Forum. The students will be there on Wednesday mornings from 6:00am — 7:30am from the 13th of February until the 10th of April.

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