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.

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.

A Unique Social Enterprise: Fabric, Needlecraft and more…

A Unique Social Enterprise: Fabric, Needlecraft and more…

Come down to our store and meet our dedicated and experienced volunteers who will assist you with our wide range of stock including:

  • Dress and upholstery fabrics and patterns
  • Patchwork pieces, patterns and kits
  • Embroidery – threads, fabrics, kits, patterns and needles
  • Haberdashery – beads, buttons, braids, laces, canvases, notions and tapestries
  • Knitting and crochet yarn
  • Books – a wide range of patchwork, applique, embroidery and craft books available

We are open:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 2pm.

The 3rd Saturday of every month from 9am to 2pm.

The 1st Sunday of every month from 9am to 2pm.

You can contact the shop during business hours on (02) 9807 3770.

To get directions to the store, use the Map to the left and click ‘directions’.