Hugh Whitehead, Volunteer mentor Autumn Scarf 2013
Where do you work?
Little Green Corner, a sustainable cafe down in Geelong. We opened up in early 2015.
What do you think the trainees get out of the program?
The front of house experience the trainees receive is very real; nothing is hidden so that they get a great insight into the challenges and rewards of working in this industry. Also, the trainees are encouraged to step up and “own” the customer experience from the first greeting, which can be justifiably daunting when their previous exposure to such an environment is mostly very limited, yet the environment provided by Scarf is warm and comforting (you know, like a scarf!), which makes it a less overwhelming experience for them. Outside of the restaurant, the trainees participate in workshops presented by volunteers from some of our industry’s best.
This includes wine and beer tasting, service skills, resume writing and interview techniques. Trainees even get paired up with employment mentors to assist in the transition from Scarf to employment. So, the trainees get an incredible amount out of the Scarf program!
What’s the best thing about being a mentor at Scarf?
By far the most rewarding aspect of being a Scarf mentor is playing a role in the trainees’ transition from nervous beginners on ‘night one’, through to confident and independent waiters by the end of the program. To stand back and let the guys run their own section is just so satisfying!
Would you recommend being a mentor to other hospo professionals?
Yes! Apart from the satisfaction of seeing the trainees grow and, hopefully, move into the workforce, Scarf is such a wholesome organisation and it attracts hospitality professionals for all the right reasons.
I found that by being involved as a mentor, the friends and networks that have opened up have been so helpful as I work toward running my own place. And, as a past volunteer I have felt very welcome to return and have often dropped in to see how the current crop are faring. It’s a big wholesome family!
Carole Felmy, Volunteer web designer
Tell us about yourself and your work…
I’m a French web / graphic / Prezi designer. In 2010 I started my own web design practice under the name of Crealo Design. Since then I have also founded Prezilab, which specialises in visual presentation design, using Prezi. I used to work from the wonderful space of Nest Coworking in Thornbury, where I met the Scarf team.
What kind of volunteering have you done for Scarf?
I volunteered to build and help maintaining Scarf’s new website.
What inspired you to volunteer for Scarf?
Seeing an organisation that is really making a difference in people’s lives is inspirational. The energy and optimism of the Scarf team are just contagious, I witness on a daily basis how much work and effort Scarf’s team puts into running the Scarf’s dinners, coordinating mentors, venues, volunteers, sponsors, and trainees… It’s huge. Even if only from behind my trustee laptop screen, being able to contribute is pretty exciting.