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Social enterprise celebrated at Byron Shire Council

Byron Shire Council is celebrating two years of partnership with House with No Steps on Tuesday, 22 November.

Over a cup of tea, Byron Shire Council’s General Manager, Ken Gainger will sit down with the House with No Steps employees to recognise and thank the work team who look after ground maintenance at the Byron Sewerage Treatment Plants and Wetlands.

House with No Steps is a social enterprise which has been contracted for the ground maintenance of Byron Shire Council’s Sewerage Treatment Plants and Wetlands since 2014.

The program has created up-skilling and employment outcomes for people with a disability within the eleven Byron Shire Sewerage and Water Treatment sites.

House with No Steps Facility Services Team has maintained the eleven sites for of the last two years with great success in the creation of employment outcomes for six people.

House with No Steps, executive general manager, Brett Lacey said the benefits of working with House with No Steps are substantial. “It supports a local business and a local charity, and provides many social benefits for our employees. Employment is more than having a job,” he said.

House with No Steps employee Andrew Clapham has been working on the Byron Shire Council contract for the last two years and has significantly extended his skills base, increasing his confidence with new experiences every day.

“We’ve been working in the wetlands area in Byron”, Andrew explained, “and there’s a lot of people who go there to watch birds who have stopped us lots of times to say what a great job we are doing and how good it looks. It’s a nice feeling when we get to meet people and they tell us what a great job we’re doing”.

Byron Shire Council’s Social Innovation Community Projects Officer, Sasha Graham, said social procurement offers businesses a way to deliver additional benefits to improve value for money through purchasing decisions.

“For example, procurement can be used to deliver environmental benefits by purchasing goods that have a lower impact on the environment; or social benefits such as using suppliers who employ local residents or who provide meaningful employment to disadvantaged groups.

“Council is committed and keen to explore new social enterprise opportunities within its operations, as well as externally through local business and government,” she said.

An upcoming forum on December 8th convened by Social Traders in partnership with The Office of Environment and Heritage will be held at Byron Community Centre to raise awareness of social enterprise in the Region, with a particular emphasis on linking social enterprises to buyers.

The FREE event will focus on linking social enterprises to buyers and there will be a social enterprise marketplace where buyers can meet local social enterprises.

The event will also include a session on building the capacity of social enterprises.

More information on how to attend the Social Traders forum can be found at https://se-buyer-forum-byron.eventbrite.com.auor phone Council officer Sasha Graham on  0409 867 535.

Photo opportunity:

  • Date: Tuesday 22 November, 2016
  • Time:   10am
  • Venue: Byron Wetlands, end of Bayshore Drive

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.