Our Social Enterprises Hub incorporates Ozanam Enterprises in Carrum Downs, which provides on-going, stable employment and training opportunities for 60 people with a disability.
Through demonstrated work skills Ozanam Enterprises assists individuals to enhance their self-esteem, improve their sense of self-worth and allows them to reach their full potential in a friendly workplace setting.
Positive outcomes for employees include improved financial independence and extended opportunities for social integration and friendships.
Ozanam Enterprises employees are also encouraged and supported to attain work in mainstream employment, should they wish to gain further work experience.
The Linked Hands Program
The Linked Hands Program has been running for around 15 years, with Padua College students visiting Ozanam Enterprises and working on the factory floor with the employees once a week.
Four students also visit Ozanam Enterprises twice a week to teach literacy and numeracy skills to the employees.
Padua College recently provided two IPads, and the students teach the employees how to use new technology and other skills such as money handling and counting correct change.
The after-school classes held at Padua are very popular, especially the cooking classes. Ozanam employees get a certificate and learn how to cook various simple foods.
In addition to the educational opportunities, the program also allows students to be involved in day and weekend trips to places such as Phillip Island and the Melbourne Zoo.
“We often find that students who do the program leave school with a commitment to make the world a better place. A lot of our kids go on to work in schools, or work in social justice-related fields, and this is part of the total package the Linked Hands Program provides.”
Frank Colcott OAM, Padua College Mornington
Linked Hands Program Coordinator