KBH social enterprise expands to help more people with supported jobs

Toowoomba man Geoffrey Nothdurft has made more than 25,000 timber surveying pegs over the past two years and is thankful to be in supported employment.

Toowoomba social enterprise KBH will be able to provide more jobs for people with a disability thanks to their larger facility which was officially opened today. 

General manager Paul Booker said KBH had moved from their Grange Street building of 23 years to their new facility in Canning Street due to substantial growth in their timber products and furniture restoration business. 

Mr Booker said KBH was also launching a new lawn mowing and garden maintenance initiative which would provide more supported employment opportunities for people with a disability and/or mental illness. 

“Currently we have 25 supported employees and we are aiming to increase that to between 45 and 50 employees in the next 12 to 24 months,” he said.

“The biggest part of what we do is giving people a sense of value in what they do,” he said.

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP officially opened the building today – using a hand saw to cut through a piece of timber instead of the traditional cutting of the ribbon.

Mr Janetzki said KBH Enterprises originally began wood working with patients at the Baillie Henderson Hospital’s occupational therapy unit and continued to grow.

“In an age where governments are under budget pressure, community service organisations need to be innovative in approaching their funding needs and revenue streams,” he said.

“Social enterprises such as KBH helps fill this gap by creating a self-sustaining business while also delivering a beneficial social outcome for its workers and the Toowoomba community.”

Mr Nothdurft has been working at KBH for 11 years and has made every single timber survey peg used by Nexus on the Second Range Crossing.

“They look after you and take care of you,” Mr Nothdurft said.

Caption: Karakan KBH Enterprises general manager Paul Booker, Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP and worker Geoffrey Nothdurft at the official opening of KBH’s new facility today.