The vision of Achieve Australia is to support people with disability to achieve social inclusion. That vision has driven Achieve to expand the concept of an opportunity shop – common in the not-for-profit sector – into a fully-fledged Social Enterprise in Sydney.
Opportunity shops play a key role in fundraising and enable the valuable participation of community volunteers in the work of organisations like Achieve Australia. A Social Enterprise takes that concept further and also creates opportunities to directly support workers with a disability. That is how Achieve Australia’s Fabric, Needlecraft and More shop at 112 Bowden Street, Meadowbank, operates.
How a Social Enterprise Helps the Community
More than 40 volunteers who are experienced and enthusiastic needlecraft hobbyists from the local community are rostered on to staff the Fabric, Needlecraft and More store. They work in partnership with supported workers in both front of house retail roles, and in support roles. Together they source, sort, shelve, display, price and help customers locate everything from dress and upholstery fabrics and patterns to embroidery tools, books, and knitting and crochet yarn.
Participation in the running of the shop enables supported workers with a disability to learn valuable job and interpersonal skills, and encourages their inclusion in the local community. Achieve Australia’s Social Enterprise in Sydney is a valuable asset not only to the needlecraft community, and talented volunteers from that community, but also to people we support.