Last week, our Prep4Work Program participants held the first ever Interchange Outer East twilight Christmas market – and it was a huge hit! The group of young adults, supported by a great team of staff, spent months planning the market, developing their micro-business ideas and hand making quality gifts and Christmas items. The huge turnout exceeded all expectations, with over 200 people coming through, despite the dreary weather.

I can’t stop smiling about last night. Thank you to all staff and volunteers – it was a great night.

Congratulations to all the young adults who are extremely talented and produce amazing creations. Just goes to show how a little love and support encourages ABILITY and we quickly forget the word disability. Keen for the next big market day!

– Prep4Work parent

The BBQ, coffee and ice cream stalls were bustling, with Ruby selling close to 100 ice creams from her amazing home made stall. A huge shout out to Ruby and her family for bringing her idea to life! Indoors, the market stalls saw a constant stream of traffic. The atmosphere inside the Keith Thornton Room at our Ferntree Gully site was so vibrant and and exciting. Some stalls even sold out of all their beautiful handmade items before closing up shop for the night.

On behalf of our Prep4Work participants and staff, we thank everyone who came along and supported the inaugural IOE twilight Christmas market. After countless requests to do it again next year (bigger and even better next time perhaps?), and lots of lessons learned this time around, we may just see you again soon. An event like this is such a great way for program participants to develop a wide variety of skills in a practical way. Our group were able to build on their learnings in business development, budgeting and cash handling, marketing, event planning, confidence, creativity … and more!

It was a huge team effort but at the centre of it all were the amazing group of young adults who brought this idea to life in such a fun and positive way.