Gladstone Steam Laundry recently received an award for hiring disabled people. Sharee Burley works the steam press machine with owner Marilyn McBean.
Gladstone Steam Laundry recently received an award for hiring disabled people. Sharee Burley works the steam press machine with owner Marilyn McBean. Chrissy Harris

The chance to get going

GLADSTONE Steam Laundry owner-manager Marilyn McBean is all for giving second chances.

Of her 15-strong workforce, seven have been hired via CRS Australia, an organisation that provides training and employment for job seekers with disabilities, injuries or health issues.

The business provides laundry and dry-cleaning services to contract clients, including pick-up and delivery of linen as well as a shopfront for walk-in customers.

She was rewarded for her efforts earlier this month when CRS presented the family run business with its Queensland Employer Award.

Marilyn was modest about the achievement, though. She said she was just giving people who were down on their luck a fair go.

"If they feel they're able to do it and I feel they're appropriate for the job, I give them a go.

"It's hard to get back into the workforce when you don't have the skills on your resume to get a go again."

CRS rehabilitation and assessment services general manager Dianne Fletcher said Marilyn's role in helping these people was to be commended.

"The Gladstone Steam Laundry's commitment to provide job opportunities for people with disability has positively changed lives.

"These job seekers achieve independence, increase confidence and satisfaction, financial benefits and opportunities to learn."

The laundry also gained hardworking,effective employees.

Vicky Hare, 41, began work at the laundry in July last year after being unemployed for 12 months. She'd had carpel tunnel problems.

The mother-of-one was grateful to get back to work. Being jobless meant living a frugal day-to-day existence.

"You have no money to do anything and the little money that you do get goes on bills. You don't have a life.

"It's good to get your life back on track and actually be earning a living."


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