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Business in Focus – Fairhaven Services Posted on October 9, 2018
Fairhaven Services is a social enterprise, operating on the Central Coast since 1962, and is dedicated to ensuring that disability is no boundary for people living on the Central Coast, concentrating on providing three key services:accommodation, employment and community support. Fairhaven Services are also known for their packaging services, residential and community support services as well as a collection of small enterprises including an opportunity shop, an upcycling centre, a community market operation, bingo and cash house operation and a small art studio and gallery.
The focus of the business is to grow its community services division to support the many people who will benefit by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. In saying this, Fairhaven Services has been successful in being able to provide more services to the community of people with disabilities who need support during the day because of their inability to work.
Jim says “We hope to increase the number of people we support by around 25% over last years’ numbers. We also hope to launch our own cafe at Brisbane Water Drive which will focus on organic foods.”
The team at Fairhaven Services are preparing for significant changes in the business consistent with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, having employed over 200 people, 150 of them having some form of disability. The increasing market share, improving cash flow and a focus on profitability are the three main challenges the team currently faces. Jim adds “The packaging industry is extremely competitive and we package dry and wet foods, cosmetics and a range of other products for customers across Australia.
Unfortunately the businesses packaging warehouse at Tuggerah was extensively damaged during a fire back in May this year. Following this unfortunate event, Robson Partners donated the hefty sum of $9,000 to Fairhaven Services – a steadily growing contribution of $4,500 from Robson Partners staff salaries which was then dollar matched by their parent company’s charity programme, the Count Charitable Foundation.
“Our team has responded to our recent challenges with great understanding, commitment and a resolve to help us get our packaging business back on track,” says Jim.
Fairhaven Services have been successful in servicing their customers in the organic food market who need their products packaged by an accredited Australian Certified Organic packager such as Pacific Co Pack – the businesses division.
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a number of people with disabilities will be looking for a reliable, professional and caring organisation to support them. Fairhaven can provide a range of person-centered service offerings that provide clients flexible work and career choice initiatives.
Jim explains, “We have a well-established and committed team, some who have over 20 years experience in the industry. We are a people business and I want to be sure that people, our customers, clients and the wider community experience a totally customer focused service when they deal with us. I would love to see Fairhaven provide more jobs for people generally on the Central Coast and to see especially people with disabilities able to discover, celebrate and enjoy relationships and have a sense of belonging in our community.”