The Sewing Basket social enterprise opens in Kincumber

Employment support officer Alissa Hattersley and warehouse assistant Trudi Nisbet at The Sewing Basket

A 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.

Achieve Australia CEO, Jo-Anne Hewitt, said there would be multiple benefits for the community.

“The Sewing Basket provides true social inclusion for people with disability, offering more opportunities to be part of the community,” she said.

“(They can) learn work-based skills, meet new people, and build a meaningful personal network based on common interests and creativity.

“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.”

Hewitt said a grant from The Ian Potter Foundation had 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.

David Rafferty, who manages The Sewing Basket for Achieve Australia, said COVID-19 had seen a surge in demand.

“In the months after lockdown we experienced record sales, and demand has been growing since,” he said.

“People are looking for more home-based activities, and sewing, needlecraft, quilting and embroidery really fit the bill.”

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-3pm Monday to Friday at Unit 5, 11-13 Cochrone St, Kincumber.

More details can be found on The Sewing Basket’s website.