Helping Hands Mission Inc.
The Helping Hands story began back in 2007 with a small group of people who wanted to help poverty-stricken families in regional Victoria. What started as a delivery of donated clothing has, over the last ten years, grown into an organisation with over 160 volunteers, five opportunity shops across Melbourne’s North West including Airport West and Sunshine, and one in the regional Victorian town of Bridgewater, an eBay store, a Work for the Dole program that supports 360 participants and an Emergency and Material Aid Program that provides food, toiletries, clothing, furniture and other household essentials to hundreds of families in need every single week.
Our op shops are more than just retail outlets for collectors, vintage fans and those who love a bargain; most of our clothing is just $2 and every day we see how many of our customers rely on these low prices in order to provide quality clothes for themselves and their families. We also sell books, furniture, toys, homewares, appliances and bric-a-brac at similarly affordable prices, and take great pride in the presentation of our shops so that our customers enjoy their shopping experience and are treated with dignity. The shops have become social hubs for those in the Western and Northern suburbs and every day the dining room at our Fullarton Road (Airport West) shop is packed full of visitors enjoying a free hot lunch.
In 2015 our Work for the Dole journey began and we decided we wanted to do things differently to many other host organisations, offering our participants not only a place in our program but also the opportunity to take advantage of our ‘soft skills’ training and support including mentoring, mock job interviews, resume writing workshops, appropriate workwear and access to our Community Pantry. Because we partner with a range of local job agencies our Work for the Dole participants largely come from the surrounding suburbs, giving us the opportunity to help reduce the unemployment rate in our region.
We have close relationships with a wide range of businesses in Melbourne’s West, from large corporations with hundreds of employees to local family-run shops and cafes, and this has led to the development of our Employment Partners Program. Our Employment Partners contact us when they have positions vacant and we work with them and our jobseekers throughout every step of the recruitment process. As a result we’ve placed more than 23 participants in paid, sustainable employment with organisations such as LaManna Supermarket, and the change in a jobseeker’s confidence and outlook on life once they’ve secured such a role is truly remarkable.
If you’re looking for work, interested in becoming an Employment Partner, or want further information about Helping Hands Mission, visit www.helpinghandsmission.org.au or get in touch via email@example.com.