My name is Thomas and I work at the FSG Café in Railway Street, Southport. And this is my story…
Before I came to FSG I lived in Brisbane for most of my life. When my parents split up, my mum, brother and I had to move into rental accommodation but soon after, we struggled to make ends meet. We struggled so much that there were some nights where I would sleep in local parks.
After a while I moved in with my Dad who had relocated to Alice Springs, but after a couple of year’s things didn’t work out there either and I moved back to Brisbane. I ended up in shared accommodation sitting around watching TV not doing very much.
In 2011, the house we were in suffered damage in the 2011 Brisbane floods. The owners refused to fix the damage and so I found myself displaced again and decided to move down to the Gold Coast.
I had lost all motivation to do anything. I would sit around watching TV, not leave the house for long periods of time and felt as though I had nothing in my life.
I eventually got in touch with CentaCare who found me a volunteer role to get me out of the house and try and motivate me. They put me in touch with FSG where I started volunteering in the Café and the rest is history, as they say!
I am still here after three years and have been employed as a full time FSG employee! I run the FSG coffee cart and coffee shop, have been trained as a barista, learnt skills in banking and money handling, customer service skills and food preparation.
I get up every morning and look forward to coming to work. I have made new friends; have a paid job, have developed much more confidence and a cheeky personality!
I saved up and travelled to the UK to visit my brother who is a musician. I have been to Switzerland, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Venice and Austria and am planning my next big trip to America in the next couple of years. I love to travel! I have met former Premier Campbell Newman and even featured on the local News for FSG!
I am proud of the things I have accomplished and learnt by working here at FSG. I finally have a life that I enjoy full of hobbies and friends to share them with.
FSG IS A NDIS REGISTERED SERVICE PROVIDER
1 in 5 15 – 19 year old Australians are unemployed
2.6 million Australians (around 14%) live in poverty