My name’s Nipuni or Nip for short. I received a scholarship this year to grow GG’s Flowers, a social enterprise florist and gift hamper business I founded. We provide meaningful employment for people with special needs.
Let me tell you how this opportunity has not only helped me, my sister AND some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
My younger sister, Gayana, who was born with Down Syndrome, is the inspiration behind the business. Like many with this condition, Gayana struggles to communicate. This limits the type of work she’s able to do. When she turned 18, it became obvious that she might have to rely on welfare to survive.
"I couldn't bear the thought of my sister, who drank the same water, ate the same food and slept under the same roof as me live so close to the poverty line."
This Christmas, the Foundation needs to raise money to provide 10 scholarships in 2018. They're still have a long way from their target. I urge you to make a tax deductible donation.
In Australia there are 4.8 million people who have a disability. Of those, only 27% have jobs. I knew if I didn’t do something, nobody else would and the rate of unemployment would increase for this group.
Since opening my doors, hundreds of families have approached GG’s looking for work for their loved ones. It’s kind of overwhelming. Their ‘need’ is real. It soon became obvious that working with flowers wasn’t going to be enough!
With the support of the Foundation and my mentor, Leonie McCarthy from 6R, I’ve taken the brave step to expand my business. We're now delivering gift hampers nationally!
GG’s Hampers are filled with gifts from other socially conscious businesses from around Australia and packed by us. I am so proud to have a team of 10 people, who are all being paid award wages. My little 'work' family are fabulous and since having employment, have gained a whole new sense of purpose, direction, confidence and meaning.
Without your kindness, opportunities like these would not exist and every little bit counts. Please give what you can this festive season.
AND to top off a wonderful year, we’ve just scored our first big corporate order from Flight Centre. We’ll be putting together 1,100 hampers for them this Christmas. Insert happy dance here!
You’re also welcome to order hampers (and flowers). They’re the perfect way to say 'thank you', 'happy birthday', 'congratulations' or 'well done'.
Wishing you the best Christmas ever.
Nip (and the Layne Beachley Foundation) xx