Some 16 months after a fire tore through Endeavour Foundation's commercial industries site in Cairns, the local team has said that they are back in business and ‘better than ever’.
In excess of $800,000 has been invested in the rebuild and delivery of a new state of the art facility, designed specifically to support people with a disability.
“We have always enjoyed incredible support from the Cairns business community but, now more than ever, we need that to continue and to grow,” local manager Danny Pieri said.
“The last two years hit everyone harder than I have words to describe, but our hopes are high for the future.
“We have a reputation for consistent and high quality services, delivered by a committed and resourceful team, and we need to make sure that local businesses know that we’re ready, willing and able to work with them.
“When local businesses work with us, they know that they’re giving something back to the Cairns community that money simply can’t buy. Employment can boost confidence and self-esteem, it connects you with your community and can give you a strong sense of purpose – and of course those experiences are no different for a person with a disability. What sets them apart is just the lack of opportunity, which makes the supported environment we offer so important.”
The Cairns site, which has been providing employment opportunities to people with a disability for more than three decades – and currently employs 66 people with a disability in a range of supported employment roles – operates a number of business lines. These include the refurbishment of headsets and packaging of cutlery for major airlines, mailing and collation services, food packaging, sale of industrial cleaning cloths and hardwood stakes and pegs, as well as the largest confidential document destruction service available in Far North Queensland.
“This is a landmark moment for us after a very challenging time. The resilience of the supported employee team has really inspired me and the wider staff group. We have drawn on their strength throughout a time that has been indescribably tough.”
Delighted to be leaving the days of power generators and demountable buildings behind, Danny said that being back to a fully operation site ‘feels like luxury!’
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch congratulated Endeavour Foundation on its considerable recovery efforts after the devastating fire in 2015.
“Over the years I’ve visited Endeavour Foundation and met with many supported employees. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to be providing employment opportunities to people in our community who may otherwise struggle to get meaningful work.
“No matter who you are, employment helps people to socialise, become more financially independent, learn new skills, grow their feelings of self-worth and contribute to society.
“I’d strongly encourage any local businesses who may have a service or a project that can be contracted to Endeavour Foundation to get in touch with them and see how it can work.
“As a community, we have to support their efforts because Endeavour Foundation opens doors for people with a disability to benefit from employment the same as anyone else in our community.
“I thank them for their remarkable commitment to our region over the past 30 years and look forward to meeting all the employees at the opening.”