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Three workers wearing orange and yellow high-vis uniforms painting a corner shop in the daytime.

Some of you may know it as the organisation that raffles off new homes for charity, but there’s more to yourtown than lotteries. yourtown’s roots are embedded in the community; working with marginalised young people to improve their lives through services that include education and training, employment, mentoring, social development and life skills.

Through yourtown’s Social Enterprises initiative, job seekers are empowered by opportunities to work in a wide range of areas such as construction and property maintenance, landscaping and horticulture, government, council and custom services. The paid work experience that participants undertake helps them gain entry level skills and earn a wage at the same time.

“We’re (Social Enterprises’ work gangs are) ideally suited to working on larger jobs, such as refurbishing a number of properties for community housing providers or on sporting and community clubs,” says Social Enterprise Manager, Matt Coates.

Most work gangs consist of three or four young people working with a supervisor. yourtown’s Roland Chard was appointed to supervise participants Vy and George to repaint the exterior of the Bowden project office building at 46 Gibson Street.

In his four months with yourtown, Vy, of Mansfield Park, has been gained skills in painting, framework and safe use of nail guns: “We can develop a good work ethic and it helps us to look for jobs.”

George, from Findon, has embraced the opportunity to learn more skills by working with a skilled tradesperson like supervisor Roland, who agrees with George that the Social Enterprises employment program provides yourtown clients with the chance to develop life skills and good work habits such as punctuality and consistent attendance.

“I generally have about three people, but it can be up to six or seven. Most go onto employment and study.”

Bowden Project Director, Shane Wingard, was very happy with the quality of work undertaken by the yourtown gang and spoke of the benefits of working with social enterprises on Renewal SA’s projects: "By procuring yourtown’s services, which are cost competitive when compared with commercial industry, we’re not only using the project budget wisely, but increasing its value by giving back to the local community and providing young people with the chance to gain invaluable work experience at the same time."

If your organisation needs assistance with building, grounds or property maintenance, get in touch with your nearest yourtown site and give back to the community while getting the job done.

Alternatively, if you operate a social enterprise similar to yourtown, contact Renewal SA to be considered for upcoming procurement opportunities.

Below: yourtown Social Enterprises participants George and Vy with supervisor Roland on the job at Bowden.

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