Our $50M Five Year Investment Plan
We’re very proud of our history at Bedford, but it's time for a make-over!
To accomplish this, our five-year investment will offer people with disability the chance to pursue new pathways and training programs to reach their longer-term employment goals, at both current and new sites, in open employment and earn award wages. Effectively, this will be the biggest investment in Bedford’s history.
So how will a future Bedford look and operate?
In a first for disability employment in Australia, Bedford has created its own open employment market called Bedford Social Enterprises. Not just a pathway into another organisation, but Bedford’s own businesses to create Made By Bedford products or partner with a range of companies to build, make, produce and create everything from innovative furniture to gourmet food and fill gaps across various retail, production and processing markets - from paddock to plate. Many of our existing businesses will evolve from supported employment models to true Social Enterprises with open employment hubs.
CULTIVATING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The first Social Enterprise was launch in March 2023. Operating as Cultivate Food and Beverage, the venture has already secured commercial partnerships with local and national food producers and is open for business with investors who not only want a financial return, but also receive a social dividend
Up to 35 roles for hospitality workers trainees of all abilities will be created at the new commercial kitchen and food storage facility at Brooklyn Park.
PLANS TO BUILD AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Bedford, Leyton Property and Leyton Funds are partnering to create a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing hub in Adelaide’s north expected to be worth over $45 million and create 200 ongoing jobs for people of all abilities.
The Salisbury South site will specialise in the advanced manufacture of furniture and the supply of components to the commercial joinery and construction industry. We will have the capability to deliver world class products and feature the latest automation and robotics technology.
Adjacent to the new advanced manufacturing facility will also be a first-class Food and Beverage hub with hospitality retail offerings.
What does it mean for our most valued assets – our clients?
For our existing clients, that means the chance to transition from supported model to open employment and earn award wages and pursue new career opportunities and skills
Panorama employee Andrew Waller is excited about the prospect of increasing his work and life skills;
“I’ve worked in the packaging team, and I joined a special cleaning unit during COVID.”
“You could say, I’m a bit of an all-rounder and I’m always looking to increase my skills – maybe even become a barista in a cafe one day,” Andrew said.
You can read more about these exciting developments in Latest News.
How would Bedford help our community make these changes if they choose to?
Supporting Andrew in this transition and understanding the new service offerings takes careful planning, so Bedford will establish an Advisory Service – which includes access to job and life coaches, vocational training, retirement planning and many new supports not currently offered. Our new Advisory Services will also work with South Australian employers to provide support in how to employ people with disability in the open market. For SA employers who choose to employ people with disability Bedford will have job coaches to assist.
Myron Mann says Bedford’s clients, supported employees and staff will have the opportunity to choose their preferred pathway.
“Everyone will have a choice. Those who prefer supported models of employment will still have access to trained supervision, disability support and flexibility in their work and social arrangements to suit their needs. Individual choice and control remain at the centre of their future.”
What other changes will Bedford make to meet the needs of our community and secure our future?
Also, in our five-year masterplan, will be the establishment of several new purpose-built facilities across Adelaide and regional SA as well as upgrades to existing sites. The first of our new sites will open in Brooklyn Park in early 2023.
The $50 million investment includes:
- Creating an advanced manufacturing hub in Adelaide’s North at one of SA’s largest greenfield site – plus other new, fit-for-purpose sites in Adelaide’s South and Hills
- Expanding into the western suburbs with a new commercial site specialising in contract kitchens and a new Day Options site for social and skills development
- Renovating and redeveloping existing sites such as Balyana and our head office at Panorama
- Selling surplus land and existing commercial sites that are no longer fit-for-purpose allowing Bedford to reinvest from the sales into new modern facilities
- Exiting facilities that are no longer fit-for-purpose.
“We know the disability sector is changing and with it, more contemporary and inclusive forms of employment will be offered.
“We have started to share our plans with both state and federal governments, our employees, clients, families and the wider Bedford community and the feedback to date has been fantastic,” Mr Mann said.
“Yes, we will have new sites and create new jobs, but this investment is so much more. This is about offering unprecedented opportunity and support for people with disability to live the life they choose.”
The journey and the destination - where we began
It’s an exciting time here at Bedford as we start our transformation journey. Bedford's vision of becoming Australia’s most innovative provider, across our service provisions, to people with disability is continuing to evolve.
Bedford's clients are at the forefront of this vision, and capacity-building opportunities will be built into every area of our service provision. This will result in meaningful jobs, vocations, social opportunities and participation in new social businesses that deliver significant value to our customers.
Our vision incorporates designing creative and inspiring social enterprises and partnering with successful South Australian businesses to deliver exciting outcomes and opportunities for every member of the Bedford family.
With the introduction of an ongoing discovery process where clients tell us what they want to do, each client will have tailored supports and services to meet their individual goals and aspirations both at Bedford and in the community.
A future Bedford will offer a more diverse range of capacity-building classes, courses, and activities - from sport to the performing arts, coding, digital literacy, woodworking, and designing, through to new social experiences. We will also provide education, experiences, and workplace training, enhancing each client’s skills to increase work opportunities, or even start up their own business. These opportunities will not only sit within the employment setting, they will also be built into the programs which we know as Day Options and Experiences (previously Community Access and Lifestyle).
This evolution will not be an overnight change, it will take time to achieve our vision. Along the way, tough decisions will need to be made, resulting in changes to the way we do things today. These decisions might be difficult for some people but will provide new opportunities that might not have previously been considered.
Below you'll find a link to an archive of Bedford's regular communications as we go through our transformation journey. Please feel free to read these and contact us via the button below with questions or feedback.
Thank you for being part of Bedford’s transformation journey and helping to bring our vision to fruition.