Grant helps business give disabled workers a hand (Australia): A Palmwoods business providing employment for 35 disabled people will ramp up its operations thanks to a donation from the Endeavour Foundation.
Rakes and Panes is a garden maintenance and window cleaning business run by disability service provider The Compass Institute. The $4000 grant has allowed the business to buy four lawnmowers, doubling its equipment pool.
Development co-ordinator DJ McGlynn said staff were excited to learn the workings of the mowers.
"We're hoping the new mowers will help us more than double the amount of work we do," Mr McGlynn said.
Rakes and Panes has operated with a varied collection of second-hand mowers, all with different operating procedures. This was challenging for workers with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Endeavour Foundation chief executive officer David Barbagallo applauded the Rakes and Panes program. "This is a great social enterprise, where people are doing meaningful work," Mr Barbagallo said. "It is fantastic that we can support them in a small but significant way," he said.
Fund chairman Grant Murdoch said the $4000 grant was a cost-effective way to contribute to a social enterprise that was both providing work to people with a disability and discounted services to people unable to maintain their own garden.
"Like The Compass Institute, Endeavour Foundation understands the value of supported employment," Mr Murdoch said. "We know that having a job is a vital source of financial independence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose for everybody, including those with a disability," he said.
The Compass Institute has social enterprises that provide flexible employment and on-the-job training for young people with a disability. It employs 40 staff across six sites on the Sunshine Coast, offering training and support services.
This year The Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund awarded $40,000 to fund research, gave two awards of $5000 each to higher degree students, and made $20,000 available to non-profit organisations. The fund is a public benevolent institution that seeks to benefit the wider Australian disability sector as a whole, with an emphasis on people with an intellectual disability