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Social enterprise movement has Fraser Coast in its sights

SOCIAL SKILLS: Shane Matterson, Tanya Stevenson, Maggie Johns, Evan Munroe and Helen Halford show off items made by The Shed to be on display on October 11.
SOCIAL SKILLS: Shane Matterson, Tanya Stevenson, Maggie Johns, Evan Munroe and Helen Halford show off items made by The Shed to be on display on October 11. Emily Black

THOSE seeking new relationships with people who run successful, purpose-driven businesses generating social and environmental values and would like to present their social enterprise to the public are invited to be part of Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre's new initiative this October.

HBNC has teamed up with Town and Country Community Options, Recovered Futures and Churches of Christ in Queensland to present Hervey Bay's first Social Enterprise Expo being held at the Neighbourhood Centre, 22 Charles Stree, Pialba on Wednesday, October 11.

Town & Country Community Options CEO Evan Munroe said their "The Shed” service would have a stall at the expo to provide an example of what businesses could do to help those less fortunate community members get a leg up.

Funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Mr Munroe said The Shed gave people with a disability to learn skills and to use tools.

"They get certificates, they connect socially, they make things for themselves, but also make things to sell and pay for their materials,” he said.

"We run market stalls at Maryborough, we just did the hand made expo a few weeks ago.

"We've got a community day on October 12 and we'll have stalls down there and that's for anyone in the community to participate.

"We're building a kitchen for a staff member, we just made tables for SIP Espresso Bar in Maryborough.”

He said community members approach the shed to make things for them and they then give it a crack and they make some amazing things.

HBNC Tanya Stevenson said there weren't any other services like Town & Country Community Options shed and the Social Enterprise Expo was trying to encourage more of these types of initiatives.

"The Social Enterprise Expo that we're hosting on October 11, we've set aside stalls for businesses like Evan's to be able to put forward their social enterprise idea and showcase what they do to get more people interested and also to encourage businesses to come on board and not be scared that social enterprise is going to take their business it should add value.”

Churches of Christ in Queensland's Shane Matterson said they were on board to help out logistically with the social enterprise expo, having hosted a similar expo in Logan.

"There is a number of stalls coming from Logan from a variety of backgrounds showcasing their stalls,” Mr Matterson said.

"There was a very successful expo done down in Logan and and there is a bit of a movement happening there bringing social enterprise in the forefront, trying to make a social impact in our local communities by showcasing a variety of ideas and hopefully stimulating conversation and inspiring people to creat enterprise that will make a social impact and difference in the community.”

Recovered Futures area manager Helen Halford said she worked for a not-for-profit organisation that provides services to people with severe mental health issues, and was part of the expo to help devise solutions for their clients.

"Because the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is coming (to Hervey Bay) how do we improve the situation for people who are socially excluded and often have fewer opportunities for meaningful employment,” Ms Halford said.

"There are many examples of commercially viable businesses that have created the right environment for people with disabilities and mental health issues to experience workplace culture, social environment, workplace etiquette, real skills a real wage and it makes a huge difference to them to get over the poverty line , confident and up-skilled in order to apply for real jobs.”

2017 Fraser Coast Social Enterprise Expo

WHEN: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Breakfast and Set-up with industry professionals 7:30am-9:00am

Stallholders Networking: 9-10am

Expo and workshop presentations: 10am to noon

WHERE: Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre

WHAT: Meet people who run successful, purpose-driven businesses generating social and environmental value. Key note speaker: Tony Sharp, co-founder Independent Social Enterprise Network Logan

Topics:  expo fccommunity neighbourhood centre social enterprise



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