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Volunteers needed for chrysanthemum harvest

Endeavour Foundation
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: Iva and Jodie at the Endeavour Foundation in 2019.

It wouldn’t be Mother’s Day in Bundaberg without an Endeavour Foundation bunch of chrysanthemums.

However, lots of helping hands will be needed soon, as employees aim to harvest a bumper crop of flowers to put more smiles on the dials of Bundaberg’s mums this year.

Trish Shemlowski has a son who works as a Supported Employee for Endeavour Foundation.

She also volunteers on the local Area Committee and in the flower harvest.

“My son lives for his job, he loves it and he’d be lost without it,” Ms Shemlowski said.

“I volunteer to help my son out and to help others at the workplace that he’s been at for 28 years.

“You see people from all walks of life volunteering – we’ve seen everyone getting involved.

Endeavour FOundation
Endeavour Foundation chrysanthemums will soon be harvested just in time for Mother's Day and volunteers are needed to help with the bumper crop.

“I recommend it to others because it’s a huge job and it just wouldn’t get done without the volunteers.”

Production Manager Mark Elliott said up to 60 volunteers a day could help with the harvest and families were welcome to make a day of it.

“With a potential record crop of more than 7000 bunches we will need lots of help to meet deadlines for orders and stock to sell on site,” Mr Elliott said.

“It can take more than 10 minutes to cut, strip and sleeve a single bunch of chrysanthemums so it’s quite time-intensive.

“We had to do our best last year without volunteers due to COVID-19 restrictions, so I’m pleased to say this year we’re welcoming them back with open arms.”

Mr Elliott said volunteers had a great chance to see what Endeavour Foundation’s supported employees were capable of.

“This is a great opportunity for community inclusion as our amazing volunteers get to spend time with our supported employees, with a real focus on their abilities,” he said.

Endeavour Foundation
Endeavour Foundation chrysanthemums.

“The main tasks that need doing are cutting flower stems in the paddock; stripping the green waste and unusable stems; and bunching flowers into sleeves.

“People can work individually or as a group so it’s great for families, friendship or work-groups and we always thank our volunteers with a morning tea or lunch.”

Volunteering shifts are available 7 am to 4 pm from Tuesday April 27 to Friday April 30, 7 am to 4 pm from Monday May 3 to Friday May 7, 6 am to 4 pm on Saturday May 8, and 6 am-12 pm on Sunday May 9.

Training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are provided.

To comply with national standards, all volunteers are required to possess at least one of the following: an NDIS Clearance Card, a Blue/Yellow Card, or a recent police check (received in the last 6 months).

Volunteers who wish to participate but don’t have the above can complete a police check through Endeavour Foundation’s provider – Fit2Work – free of charge.

Those interested in volunteering should call 4155 5701 or email bundbs@endeavour.com.au by April 23 – or sooner if requiring a police check.