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Wednesday, 28 October 2020

A recent funding boost to home-grown social enterprise, Soil2Soul, has provided more meaningful training and employment opportunities for at-risk youth throughout the Central West.

The $73,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to Dubbo based Leaderlife will support the expansion of the Soil2Soul lime farm enterprise which aims to address the employability gap and disadvantage facing indigenous youth aged 15-25 as well as supporting many Indigenous young people.

Project founder, Joh Leader said the recent grant has enabled the purchase of a new vehicle and equipment which will help empower the creation of opportunities for local marginalised youth.

“Our social impact enterprise provides us with the platform to deliver innovative and alternative employment solutions for youth falling through the cracks. Great kids who are just disengaged from education, at risk of entering the criminal justice system, or simply having a tough time”,” Joh explained.

“Our experience has been that when you know better, you do better. The path to employment isn’t always straight forward or one-size-fits-all, particularly for Indigenous youth. So often the youth we work with just need a little extra support and someone to believe in them. We’re so grateful to the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for seeing the value and believing in this important work for our local community and the many opportunities it can create.

“More equipment for our social enterprise will see at least 20 youth engaged in a range of work and training activities including farming, business, sales, marketing, landscaping and product distribution channels.

“This new equipment will also help us to secure the financial viability of the enterprise in our first year of the lime harvest, expanding additional work ventures and enabling ongoing work-readiness pathways for years to come,” Joh said.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair, Jennifer Leslie, congratulated Leaderlife on the inventive way it is empowering indigenous youth to reach their full potential.

“Soil 2 Soul’s social enterprise model provides such an innovative platform to empower young people into training and employment. This grant is an acknowledgement of our shared belief in the potential of our young people. “ Jennifer said.

“The Charitable Foundation has a remarkably simple mission. That is, to help rewrite the future of people who are disadvantaged, marginalised or isolated in our regional communities.

“Soil2Soul so clearly addresses social and economic disadvantage that the youth in our local community can face and we’re proud to partner with them in a way that will benefit young people and the Dubbo community for generations to come.” Jennifer concluded.

People standing holding apples
Creating opportunities for local youth

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