Fighting Chance creates opportunities for people with disability to engage in employment, training and practical work experience in genuine businesses.
The company was launched in early 2011 by siblings Laura and Jordan O’Reilly and a team of committed young professionals who shared the O’Reillys’ vision of a brighter future for people with disabilities and their families in Australia. But before that, Fighting Chance began its life as a charitable fund in 2009, providing financial support for families of children with disabilities to access therapy services.
All of Fighting Chance’s programs happen in work hubs, which are fully adapted, fully accessible working spaces that offer a welcoming and supportive place for people with disabilities to explore their potential and contribute to a team.
Jigsaw exists to create employment, training and skill development opportunities for people with disability in Australia. They achieve their social goal by supporting their partner organisations to outsource non-core work to Jigsaw Hubs, in order to create immediate and sustainable employment for people with disability, as well as opportunities for a transition to mainstream employment with their partners.
Avenue buys quality products made by people with disability from all around the world. Products are sold to customers at community markets and through their online store. The business is unique in Australia in that it provides work skills training for people with profound and severe disability. Avenue is a not-for-profit initiative and therefore all proceeds are reinvested back into the business. This includes remuneration to interns who learn valuable work skills in an environment that supports their individual access and learning needs.
The people with disability are able to access these social enterprises through a number of programs:
- internship program for people in the community participation stream,
- Transition To Work program for school leavers,
- work experience program for those still in school or at TAFE.
They also have a social program, called LifeX, where people with or without disabilities can come together, to meet people and connect, to combat isolation and loneliness.
Shoeboxed is proud to be working with Jigsaw at the Fighting Chance Hub in Frenchs Forest, NSW. We started a few months ago, and the partnership is only going from strength to strength!
(Editor’s note: This post was researched and written by our new intern Tammy Pfandzelter, who’s flown all the way from Germany to spend a couple of months with us, and we think she’s going swimmingly. Thank you Tammy!)