Last year, we were thrilled to be invited to apply for a grant with the Melbourne Women's Fund, a "Giving Circle” which allows members to pool their financial, intellectual, professional and personal resources to support not-for-profit organisations in Melbourne that are bravely dealing with issues that undermine the quality of life and futures of women and their families. The MWF was co-founded in 2014 by Patricia Burke and Gillian Hund and is a sub-fund of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, who have also helped to fund Scarf's work in previous years. 

We presented at the Melbourne Women's Fund awards evening on 18 July 2019 at the Melbourne Town Hall. Scarf was a finalist in the 'Nurturing Grant' category, alongside two organisations who we admire greatly, Sisterworks and St Kilda Community Housing. Scarf co-founder Hannah presented with Scarf graduate Melisha (Winter Scarf '16), and Liz and Yasmin (Autumn Scarf '16 graduate) were there to share the Scarf story with members of the Melbourne Women's Fund. Following all the presentations, there was a member vote, and we won! 

Scarf was pitching for funding to run a new program: 'Tasting Plate for Women', which will provide 16 places for young women seeking protection and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who've faced barriers to employment. During the short course, participants will engage in a series of hospitality training sessions and job-readiness workshops to help them significantly increase their skills, knowledge, networks, and confidence. A group of inspiring female trainers and mentors will work closely with participants throughout the course. 

Pending COVID restrictions, we hope to run this program in September 2020. Trainee applications will be announced through Scarf's social media and newsletter ahead of program interviews.

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Scarf graduate Melisha and Scarf co-founder Hannah presenting at the Melbourne Women's Fund grant award evening in 2019.

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Scarf Graduate Yasmin and Partnerships and Communications Manager Liz sharing some of the Scarf story in between presentations. 

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The very happy and surprising moment Scarf's name was announced as the winner of the Nourishing grant..

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The Scarf team proudly showing off our award with Jules McLean (Co-Chair of the MWF Grants Committee) and Christine Darcas (Melbourne Women's Fund CEO). 

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All photos care of Melbourne Women's Fund. Photographer: Raquel Betiz.