Giving back to your community can be a worthwhile cause.

In modern society where life is fast and unrelenting, it can be difficult to stop and think about the world as a whole. 

Of course, as a community, it is good to take a break from our busy lives and concentrate on important social initiatives. Personal goals and achievements may be great, but having a social conscience and wanting to benefit society as a whole is something we can all take pride in. 

To do our bit, Kenvale College is working with two local social initiatives that are doing great things in the local hospitality community. Both The Freedom Hub and OzHarvest have come to talk to our students and some students have even volunteered their own time to help them in their causes. We are 100 per cent behind these initiatives, which showcase the kindness of the human spirit and what can happen when we work to benefit society.

In this article, we'll outline what Freedom Hub and OzHarvest are, and how you can get involved while studying at Kenvale College.

The Freedom Hub

Sex trafficking is a topic that we often associate with other worldly nations, and it doesn't usually appear in Australian headlines. However, sex trafficking does happen in our proverbial backyard and is at the heart of what The Freedom Hub aims to address. According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), there were 119 new allegations of trafficking during the 2014/15 financial year – with 93 related to sexual exploitation.

Founder Sally Irwin spent a number of years supporting women in Eastern Europe who have been trafficked before returning herself to Australia. She connected with The Salvation Army, volunteering at the only safe house in NSW. According to Ms Irwin, the scope of sex trafficking was much greater in Australia than she thought.

The Freedom Hub's main goals are to help survivors of sex trafficking get training, employment and the tools to rebuild their lives. The charity receives no government funding, relying on word of mouth, fundraising and volunteers to make a difference. Kenvale College students got in touch after their visit and have volunteered time at the Freedom Hub Survivor School – helping everywhere from admin to teaching.

The charity also has a cafe in Waterloo, Sydney where 100 per cent of the profits go towards the cause. Offering fresh, healthy and delicious food, it is all about getting the community aware of this pressing issue.

IHG Academy

IHG Academy is a collection of hotels and corporate offices that work alongside educational providers and community groups to improve the standard of candidates in the employment market. In 2015, we at Kenvale College were fortunate to be invited to be part of the IHG Academy by Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach.

For all parties – Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, students and Kenvale College – this is a very worthwhile relationship and can ensure that hospitality students begin working with the right skills and mentality. In fact. this global movement is now found more than 60 countries after being first launched in China back in 2006.

Of course, there is also a social initiative element to IHG Academy. Around the world, the academy is helping place disadvantaged students into education and work – providing the foundation for a successful future in the hospitality industry. Moving forward, Kenvale College is keen to work even closer to Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach for the benefit of our students.

OzHarvest

A photo posted by OzHarvest (@ozharvest) on

Another social initiative close to our heart is OzHarvest. Founded in 2004 by Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest was Australia's first perishable food rescue organisation, now operating across eight regional hubs including Sydney.

Put simply, OzHarvest collects quality excess food from over 2,000 commercial outlets and transports it to 800 charities across the country. Whether it is fruit and vegetable markets, supermarkets, hotels, stadiums, cafes or restaurants, any good-quality food that can make a difference to people will be picked up. The charities ensure vulnerable men, women and children have enough nourishment during tough times.

Interestingly, one of OzHarvest's four key pillars is education. In fact, the not-for-profit aims to provide hospitality training and mentoring for disadvantaged youth. This is a cause that Kenvale College, in particular lecturer Brigid Treloar, gets behind 100 per cent. We believe that education should be accessible to everyone in Australia, regardless of socio-economic background or experience.

Again, our students were inspired by OzHarvest and many have donated their time to the cause. The more hands that can help organisations such as OzHarvest, the better, as Mr Kahn and his team try to feed everyone that doesn't have enough food to go around.

At Kenvale College, we support many more social initiatives than those listed in this article. As well as providing a way to give back to the community, they teach values that can last us a lifetime. For more information about our courses and social causes, feel free to reach out to our team today.

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Testimonials

Thank you for inviting us – we really did appreciate it. I must say I was really impressed by the Briar Ridge team – one of them (… Aiden) did a really great job explaining who they were, what they were about etc., and really took the time to give us the background on the person behind it all (Gwyn Olsen). He’d clearly immersed himself in the project, and I think she’d have been really pleased if she’d seen that. Happy to reach out and tell her so if you think it would help pave the way for future events.

- Anonymous, Winefest Guest 2015

I just wanted to express thanks and congratulations to all at Kenvale for the magnificent lunch provided on Thursday.

I have been to many hatted restaurants this year and can honestly say that they would have struggled to produce such fantastic dishes.

The lunch was a credit to your students and your staff.  It would be a privilege to enjoy another visit next year.

Best wishes to your graduating students for success in their career and to your staff to continue to guide students to reach such a high standard.

- Anonymous public guest at Kenvale Restaurant 2015

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