Project creates new business
Wimmera disability service provider Woodbine has launched a new product range featuring recycled timber.
Woodbine-supported employees, under the direction of Australian Disability Enterprise supervisor Des Roberts and staff member Todd Dempsey, have launched New Life Furniture by Woodbine.
A team handcrafts each piece of furniture into unique designs using predominantly recycled timber. Pieces can be personalised to meet customer requirements.
Woodbine provides a range of employment opportunities for people with disability as part of the national Australian Disability Enterprise program. Its headquarters are in Warracknabeal.
Launches for the new enterprise were at Warrack Home Hardware, the retailer for the products, and Woodbine, where Member for Lowan Emma Kealy viewed the new range of items.
Mr Roberts said creating the furniture was a great way to showcase the skills of supported employees who were involved in sourcing the timber, making the furniture and promoting the products.
“We recently participated in the We Love Warracknabeal promotion and our supported employees did a great job, distributing more than 200 brochures and talking to people about the furniture,” he said.
“We plan to take the products to some of the regional field days, which will give our support- ed employees the opportunity to show off and sell their work.”
The range of items produced includes bars, bench seats, bench tables, bookshelves, bread boards, coat hangers, coffee tables, desks, eskys, wall units, wine-bottle holders and wine racks.
Woodbine chief executive Bernie O’connor said all profits from New Life Furniture went to improving the services his organisation provided for people with a disability.
“Although New Life Furniture by Woodbine is only a fledgling business, we have had an encouraging response from those people who have seen the product range,” he said.
“Our supported employees make a valuable contribution to Woodbine and take great pride in their work, which is reflected in these furniture products.
“My thanks to Kathryn Wilken at Warrack Home Timber and Hardware for her ongoing support and to our staff and supported employees for developing this initiative.”
“We recently participated in the We Love Warracknabeal promotion and our supported employees did a great job, distributing more than 200 brochures and talking to people about the furniture ” – Des Roberts