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2020 has been a very different year for everyone. In particular, the young school leavers of Afford’s Mt Druitt, Penrith, Ingleburn and Prestons SLES (School Leaver Employment Support) programs have worked hard to overcome disruptions caused by the Coronavirus to brush up their skills to get work-ready.

For all their efforts throughout the year, trainers will organise an end of year celebration to recognise all their achievements. The end of year get together also gives trainees the chance to let their hair down and have a good time with friends they have made through the program.

Every party needs funds to make it happen, so trainers thought of a way for trainees to learn about business while also raising money to put towards their end of year get together. A fundraising stall!

It just so happened that Father’s Day was coming up, so it was the perfect opportunity to sell Father’s Day gifts and raise funds.

Mt Druitt and Penrith trainees Angus, Brody, Jenna, Jarrod, Myra, Jean, Ervin, Lachlan and others first brainstormed what would be the best sellers for Father’s Day this year. The winning idea involved creating Footy Themed Father’s Day Chocolate Bouquets.

Just like any new business idea, trainees developed a business plan that included their costs and the price they intended to sell each product to ensure they made a profit. They also had to consider their marketing strategy and think about how they could attract customers.

Everyone had a task and trainees busily began making chocolate bouquets. Box stands that held the chocolates were decorated with the colours of the Penrith Panthers, Wests Tigers, Parramatta Eels and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

It was a team effort with trainees’ hand making 50 chocolate bouquets. The process was tedious and required attention to detail. In the end, every gift made presented good value for money and had been crafted with care.

Along with their trainers, Sharon and Tayla, trainees sought approval from Penrith Council to set up their Father’s Day stall in the Penrith Mondo Community Space, right next to Penrith Westfield. This was a high traffic spot that was sure to attract lots of customers.

Stall setup was straightforward. Then it was all up to their customer service skills to sell, sell, sell!

Any early nerves soon washed away as trainees confidently delivered service with a smile and made a tonne of money.

The few leftover bouquets were given to the clients at Afford’s Mt Druitt Day Program, so they could surprise their dads on Father’s Day.

For the Prestons and Ingleburn trainees, cookies were the order of the day! They baked their cookies and decorated them with care. Then they sold them to supported employees and staff at the Afford Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

The fundraising projects helped trainees build on business skills such as customer service and money management. It also taught them skills for personal development, such as having a strong work ethic, working as part of a team and putting in the hard yards to achieve the final result.

Thanks to the Father’s Day and cookie fundraising project, SLES trainees have raised significant funds to put towards their end of year celebration.

Find out how the SLES program can support you to build experience and confidence for work readiness.