Our garden maintenance venture in NSW's Shoalhaven has been a wonderful success since starting in 2011, after two gentleman dreamed of entering the workforce.
We’re experiencing great success with our start up garden maintenance venture in the Shoalhaven area in NSW.
The venture started in 2011 after two gentleman attending our Disability Support Service were looking to get something more out of life and had always dreamed of entering the workforce.
“We were looking at how we, as valued members of our local community could give back. We have some great local connections and identified that there was a large aging population that simply could not afford full retail lawn maintenance”, said Shane Baker, Service Manager.
Starting with two push mowers and a whipper snipper the men began volunteering their time one day a week doing discounted lawn maintenance for local elderly residents and our accommodation services.
“We got ourselves some domestic equipment and set off looking for people that we could help, asking only for enough money to cover out of pocket expenses. The guys volunteered their time and from that our reputation grew and other community members and businesses started asking for quotes”, continued Shane.
Gradually, the crew picked up more customers, purchased some additional equipment and one of the two volunteers became a paid employee with the second opting to remain a volunteer. In late 2013, the crew began operating as an official Facility Services business over a trial period of 6 months employing another two local people with a disability.
Thanks to the generosity of the local community the crew has received donations of some additional equipment such as a ride on lawn mower from BlueScope Steel. Illawarra Toyota have generously loaned the garden crew a UTE for a period of 12 -18 months to help grow the business.
“This UTE is going to make a big difference to the crew and to the services provided. Up until now we’ve been managing with using the community support service vehicles as well as the staff’s cars so being able to throw all the gear in the UTE, attaching the trailer with ride on and turning up to our customer presenting as a more professional crew will be great”, said Shane.
The crew offer yard maintenance services including lawn mowing, hedge and shrub trimming, rubbish, garden maintenance and mulching.