TWO Perth families have come together in an inspiring effort to give two young men the employment opportunities they could not find elsewhere.
Success resident Courtney Smith (19) and Karrinyup’s Joshua Aron Flintoff (18) are both on the autism spectrum.
While their families say the pair received incredible support growing up, the limited employment opportunities for young adults with a disability meant the shift into employment and a meaningful role was not as smooth as they would have liked.
That is why the families decided to take matters into their own hands, setting up The Really Useful Recyclers.
Each week, Courtney and Joshua collect newspapers and give them new life as art pieces.
The business is all about providing the pair with valued employment based around their interests and skills.
Prior to the partnership, Joshua had been collecting newspapers on his own.
Proud mum Deb Flintoff said things really took off when another family was added to the fold.
“Joshua’s work skills and pride continue to evolve as he does a job he identifies as his own,” she said.
“As he says, Wall-E recycles the earth one briquette at a time and he recycles in the community one newspaper at a time.”
Courtney’s mum Del Smith has noticed much growth in her son too, saying he is eager for each new work day and particular about the quality of his work.
The attention to their craft has helped the boys attract many fans and also many opportunities.
Their Really Useful Recyclers Facebook page has 120 ‘likes’ and is filled with comments, photos from art shows they have featured in and pieces they are developing.
Ms Smith said the only way was up.
“We want the guys to be engaged and challenged, to continue learning, to be appreciated, valued and respected for their business venture, welcomed as part of their communities, and eventually for the business enterprise to produce a supplementary income,” she said. “This has opened so many links to the community.”