Impact CEO Tanya O'Shea says a net benefit of $27m will flow from the group's new commercial laundry.
Impact CEO Tanya O'Shea says a net benefit of $27m will flow from the group's new commercial laundry. Craig Warhurst

Commercial laundry to help the unemployed

SIX months ago, life looked very different for 20-year-old Cody.

He was living with his parents in a troubled situation and was without a job or means to change his outlook.

Then he got a job working for Impact Community Services in their laundry and in that time he has been able to move out of home, secure a rental property and "take legal guardianship over his younger sister”.

It's stories like these that encourage CEO Tanya O'Shea to strive for better outcomes for people with a disability or mental illness in Bundaberg.

It's also why the organisation has begun the process of building a commercial laundry, so more people like Cody can dream big.

"Our unemployment rate is about nine per cent and our youth unemployment is over 20 per cent and that is unacceptable,” Ms O'Shea said.

"With jobs for less skilled workers being highly competitive it is incredibly difficult for people with a disability to even be considered for a job in the open market,” she said.

Impact purchased what is now known as New Image Laundry Services in 2014. What started out with four employees processing 11/2 tonnes of laundry a month has increased to nine employees processing 13 tonnes.

However they have reached their capacity at the current site, which is why the commercial laundry is being built.

Impact purchased the land on Inglis Ct and just recently had $740,000 worth of machinery delivered from Germany.

Once complete, the facility will have the capacity to employ 25 people in the first five years and process 40 tonnes of laundry a month.

The laundry is a significant investment for the group.

"It's a $2.7 million project for us to make this vision of change a reality,” she said.

"There is a net benefit of $27.1m that will flow from the project.”

The laundry is just one project Impact is working on as they strive to make a difference.

HAYLEY NISSEN



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