Building life skills

Co-founders Paul Dettmann and Simon Burnett are introducing the Social Foundry to Kyneton and the district.

Co-founders Paul Dettmann and Simon Burnett are introducing the Social Foundry to Kyneton and the district.

The Social Foundry team.

The Social Foundry team.

Kyneton's long vacant corner block on Mollison and High streets will soon be bustling with new energy as foundation work is laid for a café and employment training ground.

The proposal forms part of the Social Foundry which seeks to assist at-risk people back into the workforce through community mentorship and training.

Co-founders Paul Dettmann and Simon Burnett developed the social enterprise after identifying a local need and based the concept around Melbourne's Streat initiative.

"People fall through the cracks, get isolated and find it hard to break out of that cycle. Our dream is to create a mentoring workplace that provides new opportunities for those affected by serious disadvantage," Paul said.

"There are lots of training programs but not lots of businesses that can take on and train someone without experience."

Practical experience and mentoring will be offered across four details: carpentry, woodwork, land conservation and hospitality.

While Social Foundry operates as a not-for-profit, the board is determined to see the program deliver quality that will enable it to stand on its own two feet.

The foundry aims to provide tools for life, including resume development and confidence building, and encourages people to be valuable, reliable, and positive members of the community.

The venture also aims to build a sense a community in a place where all can feel accepted.

While the café is still under construction, the team is hopeful to have a grand opening before the end of the year.

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