Monique's Story

Saturday, Aug 14, 2010

Monique has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She lives in a supported residence with two other young women who also have disabilities.

Monique's mother is an award winning chef, and her passion for the culinary arts has created an enthusiasm in Monique that FAST Microbusiness recognised. Monique would be unable at this time to look at the complex role of a chef, but has an enthusiasm for making jams and preserves.

Up to the involvement of FAST Microbusiness, Monique was content with making Jams and preserves to give to her friends. Small amounts were sold at Options to help cover costs of the jars. FAST Microbusiness gave Monique's support circle a grant of $500 towards the cost of purchasing Health Department approved jars and bottles. Once Monique had a reasonable stock of produce, we set about organising a market stall at a local Farmer’s Market.

Monique sold out within 4 hours!

This was so successful, and Monique was so excited that she immediately wanted to make more, and have FAST organise the next market. Since then Monique has had 2 more market stalls and each time has sold out. She is now wanting the next market stall to be organised.

To create a Circle for Monique was initially daunting for the facilitator as the only relationships in her life apart from family were paid for as support workers. But Monique has her Circle now and everyone who knows her talks about how different she is; calmer, more communicative and less anxious.

Her Circle meet for lunch every month or so and also individually go with Monique to town, to the market, to the movies and have her to stay the night. Monique is so proud of the fact that she now has friends in her life and not just Support Workers.

Her passion for producing homemade preserves now has an outlet at local markets. Monique's micro business role is assisted by another Circle of people, her Market Circle.

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