Salvation Army Social Enterprise

salvosPurpose:
To provide students attending the ReNew program and adults attending Salvation Army community activities the opportunity to develop employability skills in a supported environment.

Partnership Members:
• Salvation Army Mitcham
• ReNew Program (Jesuit Community College)

Context and Goals
Salvation Army Mitcham expressed interest in developing a sustainable, online social enterprise using the model previously brokered and developed by Gateway LLEN with the “Market Value” and “ESSE” social enterprises.
The goal of the partnership is to provide training and practical work experience to students attending the onsite ReNew program and adults participating in Salvation Army outreach activities, both cohorts who traditionally struggle to build these skills.

The Partnership’s Approach
Expanding on the existing ReNew Partnership, Gateway LLEN assisted Salvation Army Mitcham to develop a clear partnership approach to their social enterprise. A clear business plan was developed and a detailed timeline, which identified both the role of partners and how the ReNew program will fit within the partnership.

Benefits
• Students and adults participate in real-life learning in a supported environment, developing the skills needed to establish employment in the retail and service sectors and basic IT
• Participants develop a sense of belonging and responsibility to the community and ownership to the area, creating greater respect for and engagement within the broader community context
• Salvation Army can operate an online store with little overheads and channel profits back into the business and community

”Students are so excited at this “real” work opportunity! So many of them struggle to gain any sort of work experience at all and consequently find it even harder to gain casual employment. The fact that this also increases their links to local community is an added bonus!”
Leanne King, ReNew Program.

Next Steps
The Salvation Army Social Enterprise Partnership is set to launch to customers in February 2014. This coincides with the return of ReNew students to class and will allow them to support the store within designated class times. Currently sample stock is in place but the next step of the partnership is for Gateway LLEN to broker the inclusion of a local school, with the intent that all future stock will be sourced directly from them – streamlining stock distribution and creating a strong school/ community partnership link.

Support from the Partnership Broker
Gateway LLEN has supported Salvation Army Mitcham on a variety of levels since the inception of the social enterprise initiative. Gateway LLEN has been able to increase the feasibility and sustainability of the partnership by ensuring that stakeholders share the same levels of commitment and that the goals of the partnership have been clearly defined and documented with Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Gateway LLEN is also actively supporting the Salvation Army Mitcham to complete the steps needed to establish themselves as a business.

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    Gateway Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) is one 31 Victorian LLENs. The goal of the LLENs is to improve outcomes for young people, 10 – 19 years old, by increasing opportunities for their participation, attainment and successful transitions in education, training or employment. Gateway LLEN encompasses the local government areas of Whitehorse, Manningham and Monash and works with key stakeholders within these communities.
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