The Little Social launching at the Victorian Pride Centre this December Youth Projects is excited to announce the opening of our newest social enterprise café – The Little Social – at the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda this December with an important focus on embracing the goals and aspirations of LGBTIQ+ communities. “The Little Social Café is the perfect addition to the diverse mix of organisations and services at the Pride Centre. The Little Social takes the centres purpose of being an inclusive, vibrant and welcoming place where our communities can connect to the next level. We know how important this sense of connection is for our mental health and wellbeing, and what better way to connect than over a hot beverage of choice.” Justine Dalla Riva, CEO Victorian Pride Centre. Image: Street view of the Victorian Pride Centre on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda Youth Projects is proud to be partnering with Victorian Pride Centre (VPC) in catering for Victoria’s diverse LGBTIQ+ communities and is delighted to complement the centre, its work, and the local neighbourhood. "Our shared goals and common purpose to help community realise their full potential makes us very proud to be partnering with the Victorian Pride Centre to open our newest social enterprise café. The Little Social will create a safe, inclusive, and social space for the rainbow and wider community to gather, collaborate and drive real change for the community,” shares Ben Vasiliou, CEO of Youth Projects. Image (Left to Right): Justine Dalla Riva (CEO of Victorian Pride Centre) with Ben Vasiliou (CEO of Youth Projects); Group shot of Youth Projects, The Little Social and Victorian Pride Centre team. At The Little Social, each young person is provided with hands-on skills development and mentoring from industry experts and is immersed in an affirming experience from which they can build self-confidence and gain key employability skills in a wholly supportive and judgment-free environment. Along the way, our team supports young people to achieve micro-credentials, like Barista and Food Handling certificates. Individually, they develop amazing work skills, social skills, improved personal routines and organisational skills. We especially support young people who have become disengaged from education, employment and community, and we nurture them with skills, opportunities, and hope – reaffirming our vision of young people being good-to-go in a very competitive job market. Image: Jules (Victorian Pride Centre Volunteer Coordinator), Tiarna and Jac (The Little Social team members) Youth Projects are vigorously focused on issues of diversity and acceptance, highlighting LGBTIQ+ members of our community and embracing their needs, goals, and aspirations. “The Little Social at the Victorian Pride Centre will be much more than just coffee & food. It will open new pathways for young people to help recover from the pandemic, create job opportunities in a safe and supportive environment, and improve social connectedness and reduce social isolation for the community more broadly,” shares Ben Vasiliou, CEO of Youth Projects. Since opening in 2020, The Little Social has created employment pathways for 35 young people, trained 50 through our youth programs, served over 300,000 coffees, shared more than 5,000 pay-it-forwards with people experiencing homelessness, contributed $70,000+ to Youth Projects’ homelessness services, and avoided more than $527,000 in income support by helping young people into jobs. Powered by Youth Projects, The Little Social will also launch ‘The Little Social Catering Co.’ in early 2023 to create more opportunities for young people in kitchen operations, back of house and the full range of pathways beyond customer-facing roles. The Little Social Catering Co. will take locally-sourced, seasonally inspired offerings and a slice of The Little Social to every corner of Melbourne - creating real social change along the way. More on this soon... The Little Social will open at the Victorian Pride Centre (79 – 81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda) at 8am on Monday 12 December 2022. Friends and supporters are encouraged to drop by, check out the new café, and know that you can help us create real social change with every purchase. For any media or partnership enquiries, please contact Nic Horton (Marketing & Communications Manager) on 0458 911 299.