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.
History of Achieve Australia’s Social Enterprise
The idea for Achieve Australia’s Social Enterprise started long before the creation of Achieve Australia. In 1998, a needlecraft store went out of business. All the remaining stock was donated to The Crowle Home – a forerunner of the organisation which eventually became Achieve Australia. The Crowle Home took the remaining stock and sold it at a one-off needlecraft sale to raise much-needed funds.
Word of the successful sale spread and further donations of fabric, wool, thread, patterns and craft supplies came flooding in. So many donations were received that it became feasible to establish a shop to sell the accumulated stock. Eventually the business was able to expand to its current Meadowbank site in 2013.