BEST Community Shed Workshop Slab Extension

/BEST Community Shed Workshop Slab Extension

Grant Opportunity

BEST Employment Ltd
47 Campbell Street
Inverell, NSW, 2360

BEST Community Shed Workshop Slab Extension -

BEST Employment is a not-for-profit organisation based in Inverell NSW with a culture of altruism, nurturing the communities where we work to become stronger and sustainable. Our mission is “To see our communities, particularly those most disadvantaged, independent, and free from disadvantage”. Our inception was in the late 1970s with the intent to create opportunity for unemployed youth in the Inverell NSW district.

We became BEST Employment in 1997 and deliver employment services (jobactive, DES) from over 20 sites across NENW NSW and SE QLD In the last 40 years, BEST’s robust organisational governance has supported high quality delivery of over 80 philanthropic and government contracts. In doing so, we have demonstrated our integrity in delivering tendered services providing reassurance that we are, and will remain, a low risk service provider.

Additional entities of BEST are:
• BEST Community Connections, a person-centred disability support service, offering day programs and activities, respite and overnight support, NDIS plan coordination;
• Linking Together Centre, a community hub within South Inverell, an area of high disadvantage and large Aboriginal population. We provide programs to youth in crisis, family healing, breakfast/homework clubs, suspended kids support, creative activities, computer access and a community meeting place;
• BEST Nursery, opened in February 2010 as a horticultural enterprise, offering sales to public through our retail section, commercial production and a training centre.

From our home base in Inverell, we have established two social enterprises, the BEST Food Garden and BEST Community Shed, largely run by and for volunteers from the community who seek to make a difference to the lives of others, improve the quality of their own lives, and assist people to find confidence, grow skills and social connections. The Food Garden is a 6-year-old project where community members, students, elderly residents, long-term unemployed and people with disability who plant and harvest fresh vegetables, then delivered weekly with fresh eggs to about 120 pension-aged recipients in Inverell, Tingha, Glen Innes and Moree.

The BEST Community Shed was formally launched in February 2017, and accepts donated clothing, household items and furniture which is then sold through the Shed op-shop in Inverell’s CBD, staffed by over 60 volunteers. Part of the BEST Community Shed is a flourishing workshop, where a team of volunteers mentor unemployed residents and people with disability to rehabilitate old furniture. New furniture and items are made from recovered timber and furniture, also sold through the op shop These ‘BEST-made’ pieces are individually created, allowing people to express themselves and learn new skills in a supportive environment.

Proceeds from Community Shed sales are directly donated back to community and support groups, organisations, rescue organisations and initiatives which inclusively assist all people Since April 2017, the BEST Community Shed has donated over $25,000 back the Inverell district. The shop also offers an active welfare service to people in dire need, distributing food, clothing, furniture and homewares to struggling families and individuals, with over 150 adults and 100 children assisted in the last 12 months.

  • Total Requested Amount
  • Total Raised From Donors
  • Remaining Goal

Project Details

Postcode where activity will take place: 2360

Start Date: 02/12/2019

End Date: 02/01/2020

Target Population:

  • Social and economic status > Economically disadvantaged people
  • Work status and occupations > Unemployed people

Field of Interest:

  • Community and economic development > Sustainable development
  • Community and economic development > Voluntarism

Project Summary:

We are seeking funds to lay a 4.5m x 18.3m concrete pad (earth works, labour, materials and clean up inclusive) to accommodate a paint spray booth donated to the BEST Community Shed workshop and make more space for drying, sanding and finishing pieces in a well-ventilated and level work area. This is the first stage of an extension to our workspace.

The current workspace accommodates spaces for building furniture, storage of parts and equipment. Most of the painting requires people to move pieces outside onto the gravel driveway to deflect fumes from the enclosed workspace, but in times of inclement weather or extreme heat/cold, this is not always possible. Painting and/or varnishing of all pieces by hand is currently very time-consuming, sometimes taking up to 4 hours per day. Though it is an excellent starter point for many people beginning in the Shed, it limits what people can learn, and what they can do. Access to a spray booth will reduce the time necessary to finish pieces from hours to minutes.

The spray booth requires level, stable placement, and access to power and water. It will be adjacent to the current workshop.
We have had assessment by Inverell Shire Council which decided due to the nature of the project, we will not require development consent, and this was confirmed in writing. We have a quote from a local builder.

Project Outcomes:

After almost two years in its operation, we know the experience participating at the BEST Community Shed workshop is life-changing, and allows people to express themselves, learn practical new skills and techniques. Currently there are about 10 people per week who participate in the Shed workshop besides the three permanent volunteers, 3-4 casual volunteers and Shed project coordinator. About 40-60 people participate in the Shed workshop each year. Approximately one third of participants are from the Aboriginal community. Many of the participants come from a situation of unemployment, often long-term, and the Shed provides the opportunity to develop consistent routines and motivation, stability and a supportive, encouraging space to learn.

Measurable outcomes will be:
• More time for people to work on creative projects;
• Opportunity for people (long-term unemployed, people with disability, volunteers) to learn new skills that are more directly aligned to employment outcomes (ie panel beating, air-brushing), and gain confidence from commencing and completing projects, teamwork, social inclusion;
• Higher volume of items produced to be sold resulting in greater donations to community support organisations;
• More efficient processes and less material wastage;
•More discarded furniture/materials diverted from local landfill can be used to make new pieces.

Budget Details

Total Budget: $10,500


Income item Price ($)
Project management – in kind support – BEST Employment 300
Financial management and acquittal – in kind support – BEST Employment 200


Expense item Price ($)
Concrete slab including essential earthworks, labour, materials, clean up 10000

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