Transitional Employment Partner - Vanguard Laundry

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[By Clubhouse Media and Communication Crew member Juliam M]

I am frequently asked by other members at Toowoomba Clubhouse about working for Vanguard Laundry and I hope I can offer them every word of encouragement. I have been with Vanguard since they first opened in 2016. A project of Clubhouse’s previous CEO Luke Terry, Vanguard was built on the principle of employing people who had a lived experience of mental illness. The laundry was created as a social enterprise to enhance employment opportunities for Clubhouse members.

Since starting more than 30 clubhouse members have joined me on the laundry floor.  A typical day might include folding blankets, flicking pillow cases, ironing sheets or sorting incoming laundry. A shift can be anything from two to six hours. Records are taken on the floor to ensure that machines are kept close to optimal output. In this way, minor mechanical adjustments can be made on time to maintain optimal productivity. Recently a new folding machine was added. It took a week's experience to become accustomed to the new machine.

Work practices are adjusted daily as we take on new contracts. More contracts inevitably lead to more work. A growing number of employees at Vanguard benefit as the team continues to grow. Work at Vanguard is not just the working day on the floor, but at times includes attending workshops on team building or meeting with the Career Development Manager to work on job skills. Our Career Development Manager aims to accommodate employees transitioning on to other work opportunities.

It’s a cosmopolitan workplace and it’s good to see the job program at Clubhouse certainly continues to contribute! Every month the Clubhouse Job Club tours through Vanguard and keeps an eye on what a real workplace might look like. Best of all I am no longer stumped when asked on social occasions ‘…… and what do you do?’ The role benefits my bank account as well!

[Written by Harry Sillett - Career Development Officer of Vanguard]

I am frequently asked by other members at Toowoomba Clubhouse about working for Vanguard Laundry and I hope I can offer them every word of encouragement. I have been with Vanguard since they first opened in 2016. A project of Clubhouse’s previous CEO Luke Terry, Vanguard was built on the principle of employing people who had a lived experience of mental illness. The laundry was created as a social enterprise to enhance employment opportunities for Clubhouse members.

Since starting more than 30 clubhouse members have joined me on the laundry floor.  A typical day might include folding blankets, flicking pillow cases, ironing sheets or sorting incoming laundry. A shift can be anything from two to six hours. Records are taken on the floor to ensure that machines are kept close to optimal output. In this way, minor mechanical adjustments can be made on time to maintain optimal productivity. Recently a new folding machine was added. It took a week's experience to become accustomed to the new machine.

Work practices are adjusted daily as we take on new contracts. More contracts inevitably lead to more work. A growing number of employees at Vanguard benefit as the team continues to grow. Work at Vanguard is not just the working day on the floor, but at times includes attending workshops on team building or meeting with the Career Development Manager to work on job skills. Our Career Development Manager aims to accommodate employees transitioning on to other work opportunities.

It’s a cosmopolitan workplace and it’s good to see the job program at Clubhouse certainly continues to contribute! Every month the Clubhouse Job Club tours through Vanguard and keeps an eye on what a real workplace might look like. Best of all I am no longer stumped when asked on social occasions ‘…… and what do you do?’ The role benefits my bank account as well!