When Ben was just five years old, his family moved to Federal, New South Wales, and built a house from scratch. This is where Ben’s passion for all things building and fixing began.
Ben was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression in his late twenties. Although he dropped out of his university degree, he strongly believes luck followed him after he was referred to a recruitment agency by his local hospital. It marked the beginning of Ben’s journey as a Supported Employee at On Track’s car wash enterprise, which later introduced him to Momentum Collective’s Salvage Shed Tip Shop.
Working at the Salvage Shed has provided Ben with stability, a sense of normality and social connections. Now, at 47, he is still working at the Salvage Shed alongside some colleagues who he met at On Track. Ben enjoys working with like-minded individuals and finds the safe and supportive environment beneficial for his wellbeing.
“I made a progress in my career working at the Salvage Shed. Every day is different, whether it’s fixing an old bike or testing and tagging a new electrical item. The variety in the job keeps things interesting, and there’s never a dull moment at the Salvage Shed”, smiled Ben.
Ben is committed to further developing his career skills and knowledge. Last year, he travelled to the Gold Coast to complete an Electrical Safety Testing and Electrical Cord Skill Set Course. He now uses his expertise to ensure the safety of all donated electrical items and even offers assistance to fellow co-workers.
He has also received training for a white card, which enables him to salvage items for the Salvage Shed tip shop. Ben is already thinking about his next course on Work Health and Safety to better understand the council’s safety regulations as they work closely together.
“In the 15 years Ben has worked at Momentum’s car wash and Salvage Shed, he has developed an amazing skill set that he shares with our team. He is always eager to learn new skills and help his co-workers,” says Adrian, Momentum Senior Coordinator.
Dealing with mental health is an ongoing journey for Ben. He recommends supported employment to others going through similar experiences, as it makes re-entering the workforce less overwhelming and provides the necessary support.
With 15 remarkable years working at Momentum, Ben confidently envisions his future in the organisation. He hopes to work on new projects that challenge him and allow him to acquire new skills. Ben is particularly excited about next year’s annual Billy cart race in Bangalow, where his team will participate and come up with innovative ideas for creating the ultimate speedy billy car.
Are you looking to develop valuable employment skills like Ben? Our Salvage Shed and Recyclers Op Shop provide paid job opportunities in a supported work environment. Find out more here.