Penny blossoms in Echuca garden centre

It has taken some time, but Penny has found her passion in plants.

Despite her enthusiasm and willingness to try new things, Penny struggled over a couple of years to find meaningful work that met her needs.

But that all changed when she started work experience with Kennaugh’s Garden Centre in Echuca.

“Penny was always willing to give almost everything a go, but had always mentioned to me how much she loved gardening and looking after her own garden,” her CVGT Australia consultant Kelsey says.

“I decided to give Kennaugh’s a call one day after her appointment to see if she could come out for some work experience.

“To my surprise (Kennaugh’s manager) Jade did not even take a breath before saying, ‘Yeah sure, send her out.’”

“Penny was very excited to go and I don’t think she took the smile off her face all day!”

A two-week work experience stint as part of our Disability Employment Services program led to an offer of eight hours of work each week.

“I was lucky enough to get to be the one to tell Penny (about the offer),” Kelsey says. “Penny’s reaction made my day. She couldn’t believe they could pay her to do this.”

Penny is now saving the money she’s earning to buy a car.

“I love everything about working at Kennaugh’s,” Penny says. “I like to do the watering, weeding, and price tags (she calls it ‘stickering’). My favourite flowers are the roses.

“I enjoy getting to go to work and meeting new people, talking to customers and spending time with my co-workers.”

Penny says her manager Jade is her favourite colleague – someone who is funny and supportive.

“We chose to employ Penny because of her enthusiasm,” Jade says. “She is passionate about plants and just wants to work. We had to give her a go.

“Penny adds a bit of fun and loves to have a laugh. She’ll give anything a try. Our nursery gals are able to focus on other things when Penny is here, as they know she’ll take care of watering and weeding.”

Penny’s story is a great example of how CVGT Australia consultants like Kelsey can work with job seekers and employers to match the right person to the right job.

Our consultants then support the employee and the business to ensure the new partnership runs smoothly.

“Penny has been an absolute joy from day one,” Kelsey says. “She was so welcoming and kind and I immediately felt an easy connection with her.

“Since Penny has been placed she has been excited every day to go to work. We got her some beautiful hot pink work boots and she would work every day if she could,” Kelsey says.

“Kennaughs were amazing to take a chance on Penny without hesitation, and I believe we have found a great fit for Penny.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Kennaugh’s.

“We certainly would recommend CVGT Australia and the DES program to others,” Jade says.

“Kelsey and the team have been a fantastic support along the way!”

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