IT ALL STARTED WHEN…
As we know, the journey from welfare to wellbeing, is dependent upon being able to support yourself, both emotionally and financially.
Whilst the residential education program provides the structure of this, assisting women into supported employment is an important focus for SHIFT.
Byron offers a wide choice of employment but competition is stiff in a town that swells with seasonal workers.
Landing on your feet and believing in yourself and your abilities, can be dependent on the team, and leader, you are working with. We recognised we needed to develop a number of employment pathways for our residents to have a supported entry into the working world, particularly as many had been long term un-employed.
We have established a number of these pathways, working in partnership with local cafes and small businesses, initially in a volunteer capacity which then turns into paid work.
One such endeavour is providing a linen service for a boutique holiday residence by the beach. This service proved so popular that we outgrew our in-house capacity and could not keep up with demand.
Enter……the Linen SHIFT: Laundry with a Conscience.
We decided to begin our own employment pathway, in the hope of supporting our residents gaining the necessary skills to re-enter the work force as well as working with the wider community. We saw this as an opportunity to open the SHIFT Project to other women who may not need residential support but would benefit from day programs and employment support.
August 2019 saw us take occupancy of a site in Acacia Street and begin the slow process of fit out for a laundry business. The DA is approved, the Byron Shire Council and Rouse Water have applied a concession for much of the sewerage and water fees – without which we would not have been able to progress.
There has been a host of people and services who have provided us with guidance and walked this path with us over the past year. These people are the community hero’s – Anne is often heard saying, we would not be able to do this without the support of community.
In December, Michael Leung from Balanced Earth put together a team of experienced tradies to volunteer days at the site. They built two offices and a hot desk in the mezzanine level ready to house SHIFT HQ – a major graduation from the garage in the residence!
Downstairs, the machines are all in place and commissioned and we are in the beginning runs of the business.
If you would like to talk with us further about our service, please email Anne Goslett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0422 368 993 with your enquiry.