WDEA Works Social Enterprises Big R’s Shed proves to be a thriving community hub

It’s hard to believe that the WDEA Works Social Enterprise’s ‘Big R’s Shed’ only opened in July 2019. It is fast becoming a thriving community hub for those looking to grab a bargain; for repurposing their belongings and for people who are conscious about the environment and adhere to the Big R’s philosophy of Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, Restore.

There is also something extra special about the Big R’s Shed at Albert Street, Warrnambool – it’s people.  The Big R’s Shed provides retail experiences for WDEA Works supported employees, many of whom have an intellectual disability. “ On our roster, we have 17 supported employees and 6 support workers at the Big R’s Shed. Many of the Big R’s Shed staff members came from other WDEA Works Enterprise Program and feel like family. We’re excited that through the Big R’s Shed our supported employees are able to develop key retail skills, they take responsibility for keeping the shed clean, preparing the stock for sale, using the registers, helping with re-stocking and greeting customers.” Said Paul Hughes Big R’s Shed Business Manager.

“Tom’s supported employment in the Big R’s Shed ticks so many boxes; experiencing all aspects of the retail sector, working with customers, preparing and pricing goods for sale and perhaps more importantly, it’s playing a huge role in sustainability by reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. It’s a win-win situation for the community, the supported employees and WDEA Enterprises” said Denise Leembruggen whose son Tom is a supported employee at the Big R’s Shed.

The Big R’s Shed is a treasure trove of goodies including second-hand furniture, electrical items, books, DVDs, toys and sporting goods as well as plants and paintings created from other WDEA Works Enterprise businesses. “I’d just like to thank the local community for their overwhelming support of the Big R’s Shed. We are regularly blown away by the generosity of people who donate their goods to the Big R’s Shed. We’re also incredibly busy with people now coming to us as their first place to shop when looking for a new piece of furniture. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the Big R’s Shed” said Paul.

The Big R’s Shed is located at 11 Albert Street Warrnambool and is open 8:30 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday. For more information visit their Facebook Page or www.wdeaworks.org.au.

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  • WDEA Works Employment division incorporates both Disability Employment Services and jobactive.
  • Disability Employment Services
  • jobactive