Community Connection Project Volunteering and Community Engagement

Lentil as Anything (LAA) Community Connection project aims to increase community participation and volunteering, through providing meaningful opportunities for people to participate in social impact projects. The requested funding will provide the person (resourcing) and ITC (laptop) required to deliver weekly training sessions and support volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including some of the most marginalised in our community. LAA is in a unique position to support people to escape social isolation and get back on their feet. As our restaurants operate on the ‘pay as you feel’ model, everyday people walk through our doors who experience disadvantage. The non-judgemental environment often inspires people to volunteer. People seeking asylum and those experiencing homelessness have found solace at LAA and gone onto volunteer and improve their circumstances. When a person chooses to volunteer, our Volunteer Coordinator (VC) works with the individual to place them in a role that suits their interests and personality and arranges the training and support required. There are diverse roles available within our social enterprise restaurants, community gardens, food rescue project and event coordination. The training and inductions currently run weekly at each site in a standard format, we are unable to run multiple or tailor-made inductions due to insufficient resources and ITC. It is critical that we gain support to increase our VC resource from 12 hours to 32 hours a week for a 12 month contract and provide a laptop to execute this program. Ultimately helping more people escape social isolation, learn new skills and connect with the community.