'They found me': Waterless carwash gives workers dignity
A new business is giving residents who have faced tough battles the chance to find fulfilment through work.
Darrin Givney, the supervisor at Tamworth's Waterless Carwash, knows all too well how important a helping hand can be when the world seems overwhelming.
While he was in the army, he was in a crash that left him unconscious for three days, and later down the track, Mr Givney also suffered from two strokes.
He was told he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but Mr Givney did not let that stop him.
"It left me with depression," he said.
"I pulled myself out of that with God's help and the support of Flourish.
"I wouldn't be here without them; they found me and they gave me dignity and self-respect."
Mr Givney learnt how to walk and talk again, despite some times when he was not sure he "would make it".
"I am ever so thankful for Flourish," he said.
Mr Givney said he is now passing on the lessons he learnt from Flourish to his employees.
"They are blossoming now," he said.
"The feedback I have been getting back from them is brilliant."
Flourish Australia Senior Cluster Manager, Jim Booth, said for many, this may be their first real opportunity for meaningful employment and for others it may be a new opportunity where past attempts at work have failed for various reasons.
"These failures can have a truly devastating effect on people's lives, and we aim to
turn that around and create new jobs across the region," he said.
"The 'Waterless' system is based on a contract Flourish has held with a metropolitan Local Government Area and was established to reduce water usage in dry times.
"With Level 5 water restrictions still in place, this is seen as an ideal time to enter the market.
"It is estimated this can save up to 300 litres of water per vehicle wash and works by using spray-on chemicals to soften and lift dirt and other materials from the vehicle and this is wiped off with a microfibre cloth, making sure the vehicle Duco is not damaged."
Staff will all be supported employees of Flourish Australia, where their wage is based upon their capacity to undertake various tasks in washing, vacuuming and detailing motor vehicles.
This is quite different from other systems of employment where people are expected to work for a minimum wage and, for many, this is beyond their capacity.