A brand new shop and warehouse at Kincumber will offer employment for people with disability, volunteering opportunities, and a wide range of donated fabrics and materials to inspire local sewing and needlecraft enthusiasts.
The Sewing Basket
A popular social enterprise run by disability services provider, Achieve Australia, has expanded from Sydney with the opening of its fourth store in the heart of the Central Coast’s commercial and creative centre.
As CEO of Achieve Australia, Jo-Anne Hewitt, explained, the expansion offers multiple benefits for the local community. “The Sewing Basket provides true social inclusion for people with disability, offering more opportunities to be part of the community, learn work-based skills, meet new people, and build a meaningful personal network based on common interests and creativity,” she said. “At the same time, its location in one of the state’s quilting and needlework heartlands also opens new creative opportunities for individuals and groups to access an ever-changing range of materials, many of them one-offs provided by our valued donors.” Ms Hewitt went on to acknowledge and thank The Ian Potter Foundation for the community grant that made the expansion possible.
The new site includes a 400 square metre warehouse to store the 100% recyclable, donated stock, alongside the retail shop. It offers up to 25 NDIS employment positions for people with disability and positions for a further 20 volunteers.
According to David Rafferty, who manages The Sewing Basket for Achieve Australia, the new shop and warehouse will help meet a growing need in regional areas. “We’ve had many requests from customers who want to see us expand to create the kinds of inclusive of communities that The Sewing Basket fosters,” he said. “Places where everyone is welcome and there’s a great common bond from shared creativity and working together.”
COVID-19 has also seen a surge in demand at The Sewing Basket, which Mr Rafferty expects to continue on the Central Coast. “In the months after lockdown we experienced record sales, and demand has been growing since. People are looking for more home-based activities, and sewing, needlecraft, quilting and embroidery really fit the bill. It’s a trend we’ve seen continuing as people begin to understand the satisfaction and enjoyment they bring,” Mr Rafferty said.
Last financial year The Sewing Basket’s Sydney outlets attracted more than 10,000 customer visits and over 75,000 transactions. Proceeds from sales go into operational costs of the social enterprise and in supporting programs for people with disability at work.
The new shop is open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday at Unit 5, 11-13 Cochrone St, Kincumber NSW 2251. For more information about donating, shopping, volunteering or working at The Sewing Basket, visit thesewingbasket.com.au