Grant helps keep jobs on Sunshine Coast

10 August 2015

Sunshine Coast’s The Compass Institute helps keep 35 people with a disability in work through its Rakes and Panes garden maintenance and window cleaning business.

Now thanks to an Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund grant the business can buy four new lawn-mowers to double their equipment pool and win more contracts.

It is one of three successful non-profit awards from the Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund, announced recently by Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo.

“This is a great social enterprise, where people are doing meaningful work. It is fantastic that we can support them, in a small, but significant way,” Mr Barbagallo said.

“We’re hoping the new mowers will help us more than double the amount of work we do,” said DJ McGlynn, development co-ordinator at The Compass Institute.

Rakes and Panes had a varied collection of second-hand mowers, all with different operating procedures. This was challenging for workers with physical and intellectual disabilities.

“Having the one sort of mower will make a huge difference for us,” Mr McGlynn said. “We plan to really expand the operation.”

Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund chairman Grant Murdoch said the $4000 grant was a cost-effective way to contribute to a social enterprise that was both providing work to people with a disability and discounted services to people who are unable to maintain their own garden.

“Like The Compass Institute, Endeavour Foundation understands the value of supported employment,” Mr Murdoch said.

“We know that having a job is a vital source of financial independence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose for everybody, including those with a disability,” Mr Murdoch said.

The Compass Institute has established several social enterprises that provide flexible employment and on-the-job training for young people with a disability. It employs 40 staff across six sites on the Sunshine Coast offering training and support services.

This year The Endowment Challenge Fund awarded $40,000 to fund research, endowed two awards of $5000 each to higher degree students and made a total of $20,000 available to non-profit organisations.

The Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund is a public benevolent institution that seeks to benefit the wider Australian disability sector as a whole, with an emphasis on people with an intellectual disability. Since 2012 the fund has distributed almost $300,000 in grants.

It is a capital-preserved fund, with donations invested and interest earned used to support Endowment Challenge Fund annual grants. For more information about the fund go to: www.endowmentchallengefund.com.au

Photo opportunities available.

Contact: 
Jane Kenrick, Media & Communications officer, Endeavour Foundation 
P: (03) 9851 9750, 
M: 0417 912 644, 
E: j.kenrick@endeavour.com.au

DJ McGlynn, development co-ordinator, The Compass Institute
P: (075) 457 3716, 
M: 0405 188 133, 
E: dj@compassinc.org.au

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