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A Work for the Dole (WfD) activity hosted by Enterprise & Training Company (ETC) is developing skills and giving back to the community across the Manning region through a timber recycling program that converts pallets into furniture.

ETC WfD Supervisor Luke Wilkes said the activity was having many benefits not only to the community but the unemployed people who participate.

“I see such a huge difference in the guys who come through the program. Some of them when they first start, need to further develop some skills, especially with use of tools. By the six months they are pretty competent and I can leave them to build stuff by themselves,” Mr Wilkes said.

“I really enjoy working on the program – you get some great guys through this and it’s great being able to give back to the community. Recently we donated some chairs to a preschool and it was wonderful to see the smiles on the kids’ faces.”

Taree’s Lyndon Bright has been on the program for nearly six months.

“I think I was a little different than most people because I actually really wanted to do this. I wanted to come and do something. I want something to do with my days, I’m really bored all the time as I have been struggling to find a job. So I enjoy being able to come here and make things, learn some new skills, having fun with the guys and talk,” Lyndon said.

The WfD participants spend their days breaking apart pallets and reusing the wood to make items to be donated.

“It’s pretty good when you finally deliver the finished products. I’m like ‘yes I did this – I put this together’ and it feels really good,” Lyndon said.

Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services Manager Karen Watkins thanked ETC and the WfD participants for their generous donations.

“Our garden coordinator has been working with ETC to get them to build us some wonderful bits and pieces including a table setting and garden bed that is accessible for people with disability, a wonderful cubby house, a potting up table and wash station,” Ms Watkins said.

“So not only is the Work for the Dole program having a benefit to the participants, but also our volunteers and the community members who access our services.”




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