Switched On Housing is doing something different through their support of a social enterprise operating out of the Odyssey House Drug Rehabilitation Programme in Christchurch.
Odyssey House has a well-established joinery workshop providing practical skills and training for residents. Now a new social enterprise is making use of the workshop space to offer a wider range of practical skills training and also an opportunity to generate income for the group.
Odyssey House has a retired joiner working on a voluntary basis supervising the workshop. An existing Switched On contractor is also supporting the group by offering training as needed. In addition, Carters Christchurch is supplying timber at a discounted rate and the local council has paid for a spindle moulder to create window frame profiles.
Switched On’s Ken Howat says this initiative is a great example of how a public and private partnership can work together to address a community need. It also enables the private sector to lend a hand while still achieving required business outcomes, Ken says.
Anna Christophorou, Odyssey House Operations Manager, says the group is excited to enter into the social enterprise collaboration with Switched On.
Anna says completing a residential treatment programme and returning to work can be a daunting experience.
"This scheme provides an opportunity for residents to gain confidence and develop work skills which assist with their reintegration back into the community. All of this we know ensures a more sustainable future for them," Anna says.
Ken and Anna agree the collaboration highlights the gains made for both the non-profit and business sectors in thinking outside the box and venturing into new, mutually beneficial partnerships.