We have supported the potential for social enterprises to increase employment opportunities for people with mental illness or problematic alcohol and other drugs use issues.
The Commission engaged Social Outcomes to investigate and prepare a paper on employment outcomes for people with mental health difficulties or issues related to substance use.
The report, Social Enterprises for Employment Outcomes is intended to stimulate discussion and increase understanding about the potential for social enterprises to increase employment opportunities for people with mental illness and substance use issues.
Listen to Luke Terry from Toowoomba Clubhouse talk about social enterprises and employment outcomes on ABC Southern Queensland.
Social enterprise grant
In 2015-16, the Commission provided a grant of $50,000 to Toowoomba Clubhouse and the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network to identify opportunities for people with mental illness to gain employment through social procurement.
The project aimed to accelerate social procurement from social enterprise in Toowoomba and focused on educating buyers about social procurement, identifying suitable opportunities, and assisting them to engage with social enterprise.
The project built the capacity of the social enterprise community in Toowoomba to capitalise on procurement opportunities in the Toowoomba region.
Vanguard Laundry Services
In 2017, Vanguard Laundry Services was officially opened by the Prime Minister in Toowoomba.
The service is a laundry with a social outcome purpose, helping to create more jobs and career development for people in the Toowoomba region who have experienced mental illness and struggle to get back into the workforce.
Unlike most commercial laundries, Vanguard is a locally developed Toowoomba company created by the Toowoomba Clubhouse, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people with lived experience to secure employment.
The laundry is a self-sustaining social enterprise that helps change lives. The business model provides for surplus earnings are re-invested into improving laundry services or supporting local mental health employment projects.