Read some of the case studies from BHC residents who have benefited from the BHC Impact Fund.
Last year, we launched Coffee Connections, an initiative to help residents build skills and pathways to social and economic participation, in collaboration with local social enterprise Substation33.
Bringing a portable, solar powered coffee cart to BHC’s complexes, Substation33 provides an inclusive, place-based opportunity for residents to learn skills in hospitality, whilst connecting with their neighbours.
Resident Zara first came across BHC’s Coffee Connections while it was on site at her complex in Fortitude Valley. At first interested in grabbing a coffee from the cart, the experience turned to her making coffees for a number of other residents in
“I just thought it would be fun. Brad (from Substation33) showed me how to make coffees on the machine, from warming the milk to make it foamy, to trying to make a heart on top of the coffee,” said Zara.
Zara recently completed a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course and through her hands on experience with the solar-powered coffee cart, has also considered developing her skills further through
a barista training course.
“I made 40 coffees and would love to boost my memory further and take a course.”
Since last year’s launch, Substation33’s Brad Clair has operated the coffee cart and guided residents on how to use a professional coffee machine across many BHC complexes.
“Out of all the BHC properties I’ve been to, Zara has been the most keen to learn and make coffees for the other residents,” says Brad.
“I’ve felt a part of the team and it’s great to see how BHC cares about the residents and organise things like this.”
In addition to providing residents with an opportunity to receive a free coffee and a lesson on the machine, Coffee Connections has also encouraged positive social engagement and connections with neighbours and BHC staff.
“Everyone was nice and lovely, it was great to get to know my neighbours a little better, whilst making their coffee orders,” said Zara.
Long-term BHC resident, Erica, has lived in her Bowen Hills home for almost 12 years. After recently recovering from a fractured back injury and on the waitlist to get both knees replaced, Erica needed some extra support. Speaking with her housing manager Clare, she found out BHC may be able
to assist through the Kickstart Grant as well as with additional support from BHC’s Community Liaison Coordinator.
Being in constant pain has made tasks we take for granted like showering or hanging laundry difficult for Erica. But through the Kickstart Grant, BHC was able to provide Erica with a shower chair and lower her washing line to help ease some of that discomfort and make these tasks a little easier.
“I couldn’t shower without being in terrible pain. I previously tried getting the shower chair from another provider, but I would have had to pay for it.
I didn’t know BHC could help until Clare mentioned it. It worked out perfectly,” said Erica.
To further understand what services may be available to assist her, Erica was referred to BHC’s Community Liaison Coordinator, Toni. Recognising that Erica would need extra support around the house, Toni started the process of linking her in with My Aged Care for an assessment of her needs. Through My Aged Care, Erica now receives fortnightly assistance with cleaning around the home and transportation for shopping and medical appointments.
A former professional cleaner herself, receiving cleaning assistance has been a welcome relief.
“I didn’t know how to go about applying for support, but Toni was able to help me. I wouldn’t have what I have now, without the support of Clare and Toni to get it started,” said Erica.
“Receiving this support has been the best thing.”
It began with a simple chat. From the first moment Kris, BHC’s Community Liaison Coordinator, met Matty, a resident at one of our Fortitude Valley properties, they got along well. After regularly stopping for a chat in the communal spaces of the property, Matty began feeling comfortable sharing some of his mental health concerns with Kris.
“Kris is a top bloke. Having him at the building was really good and convenient,” Matty commented.
To help improve his mental health and well-being, Kris recommended taking daily walks and exercise, providing him with an exercise program he could do at his own pace and time. Not only did Matty take his advice, but he also bought dumbbells for working out at home and joined a local gym down the road from his complex.
“Kris’ exercise program has been pretty good.
I joined a gym nearby and can’t wait to do the program there.”
At one of their catch ups, Matty discussed his desire to seek out paid work, leading Kris to refer him to BHC’s Resident Participation and Employment Coordinator, Anthony. Anthony played a crucial role in helping Matty to improve his job readiness – providing career counselling; co-creating his resume; engaging in joint job-searching and encouraging Matty to request increased support with his job provider. Following this advice and ongoing support from both Anthony and his job provider, Matty has recently been offered a job as a trolley collector at a local shopping centre.
“Anthony’s support has meant a lot to me. I’m looking forward to starting my new job.”
In October 2021 Belinda became one of BHC’s first Connect Grant recipients through the Impact Fund Grant Program. After finding out about the grant program from her Housing Manager, Belinda completed an application and sent it through to BHC with her supporting documentation for assessment. Once the grant round closed in October, all applications were presented to the Grant Evaluation Panel. Belinda’s application was assessed alongside the other Connect Grant applications. In late October BHC was thrilled to let Belinda know her application had been successful and shortly after sharing this exciting news, we sat down with Belinda to find out exactly what receiving the Connect Grant will mean for her.
Since beginning her tenancy with BHC two years ago, Belinda has wanted to undertake further studies and education to create new employment opportunities, but she did not have access to a computer to do this. When Round 1 of the BHC Impact Fund Grants Program opened in September 2021, Belinda’s Housing Manager encouraged her to complete a Connect Grant application for a laptop so she could begin her studies. Whilst applying for a grant might feel overwhelming, Belinda said that the application form gave her examples and information which assisted her in completing it correctly.
Thanks to the Connect Grant, Belinda is now the proud recipient of a new laptop and is looking forward to achieving her education and employment goals. She plans to enrol in an Aged Care course next year and will be undertaking an online Responsible Service of Alcohol course, which will support her career in the hospitality industry.
Belinda says she would encourage all BHC residents to apply for one of the Impact Fund Grants (Educate & Participate Grant or Connect Grant) as they can support people to achieve or even enhance their goals and increase their success.
Congratulations again Belinda, we wish you all the best with your upcoming studies!
First of all I want to say thank you to the Community Development Team. Thank you for the opportunity to submit my thoughts and goals for this grant. I was able to explain what I need [technology wise] to be able to communicate and live in this digital world with access to the services and information I need.
I am thrilled to have been successful in this project and will soon be the owner of a new laptop which will help me with all types of communication, shopping, paying my bills, etc. as I would be totally lost without this device. I can now be confident that I will be able to use this laptop device without having to worry about it breaking down and shutting down, as was the case with my old desktop computer. I am very excited to be able to use my new laptop with confidence. Thank you to all.