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Little Sprouts Op Shop

Zoe Support Australia

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Families
Project Focus
Project Area
Australia
Rural/Regional

Project Description

The Mildura LGA is ranked as the third most disadvantaged LGA in Victoria. 70% of residents hold a Health Care Card and 54.7% of adults have not completed Year 12 (‘State of Mildura Report 2018’).  Further, Mildura’s teen pregnancy rate is 15.5 per 1000, almost three times the state average of 5.58 (ABS 2019). A Zoe Support client wellbeing survey in January 2023 found 61% of participants had been unable to pay their bills within the last four weeks. Zoe Support’s social enterprise, Little Sprouts Op Shop, aims to alleviate financial pressure on young mothers by providing affordable secondhand baby and children’s goods. Little Sprouts currently:

  • Provides free items to 70 mothers (Zoe Support clients) and 77 children, including larger items such as cots, prams, bassinets and furniture that has been donated through the shop. The Mildura community can also access these goods at affordable prices (clothing is $3 or less). We also pass on donations to other local organisations with clients in need.
  • Employs 4 vulnerable women as casual retail assistants.
  • Provides regular volunteering for 4 retired women to promote a sense of belonging, build social connection and provide a sense of purpose.
  • Provides volunteering opportunities for school students.

 

This project will contribute to the daily overheads, including wages, rent and utilities, of Little Sprouts from 1 December 2023 – 30 June 2024 to ensure the service can remain open.

Expected Outcomes

We expect the following outcomes with improvements measured through onsite data collection at Little Sprouts.

  1. Reduced financial strain on mothers, measured through monthly Zoe client product collections and monthly sales which reflect community need. In 2023, we are averaging 39 client collections from Little Sprouts each month and sales are averaging $2311.50/month.
  2. Continued employment of vulnerable women.
  3. Volunteer opportunities for social and community connection. In 2023, our volunteers have attended Little Sprouts on 114 occasions.
  4. Decreased waste to landfill through recycling and repurposing of donated goods. January-May 2023 we received 178 community donations. We estimate each donation at 20kg (some are much more and some less). So far, we estimate we have redirected 3560kg of waste from landfill through Little Sprouts in 2023. In 2022, we received 542 donations, redirecting approximately 10.8 tonnes of waste from landfill.
  5. Contribute to a connected community with strengthened services for women, measured through use of onsite services, including breast feeding and change room. In 2023, we are averaging 10 uses of this space each month.
  6. Financial sustainability of Little Sprouts through increased sales at Little Sprouts with social media and flyer campaigns and by securing further philanthropic funding through grant applications.

Project Data & Lessons

We conduct daily onsite data collection to measure increases in:

  1. Monthly donations of goods; 31 donations received in May 2023.
  2. Monthly sales; $2400.60 taken in sales in May 2023.
  3. Zoe Support client product collections; 31 collections in May 2023.
  4. Use of the onsite feeding and change room; 10 uses of this space in May 2023.
  5. Volunteering; volunteers attended 28 times in May 2023.

 

We also collect qualitative feedback from clients and the community through online surveys. Previous feedback:

  • “It’s important for a couple of reasons. Excellent clothing at very cheap prices to help those on low incomes, the proceeds go to a fantastic local cause...”
  • “Yes it benefits our community greatly by providing great quality reasonably priced second hand items! Most op shops don’t sort baby clothes and Little Sprouts has everything set up wonderfully by size and category which makes it so easy to shop. Having a parent room right in the mall is also fantastic.”

Project Dates

Project Commences: December 1, 2023
Project Completes: June 30, 2024

Funding Details

$48,084
Funding Needed
$14,000
Current Funding
$62,084
Total Project Costs
0
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Little Sprouts Sales Dec 2023 - June 2024 - currently expected $2000/month
Other Support Opportunities
Impact investment, In-kind contributions, Pro bono services, Subsidies

Organisation Details

Zoe Support Australia
ABN: 76161029705

Contact

Zoe Support Australia
Phone: 0488963963

About Zoe Support Australia

Zoe Support Australia is a not-for-profit Community Service Organisation operating in Mildura, VIC. We are dedicated to the benevolent relief of social isolation, poverty, ill health, destitution and distress of young mothers
aged 13-25 and their children in order to re-engage mothers in education, employment and social programs.

Our primary objectives are for mothers to break cycles of welfare-dependence, increase mother-child attachment and family stability, improve mental health and physical wellbeing, decrease incidents of family violence and substance abuse, engage in higher education, and find employment. We currently support 70 clients with 77 children.

We have established four Zoe Centres and Little Sprouts Op Shop to provide:
-Integrated Family Services for high-risk clients
-Family Day Care provided by qualified Early Years educators;
-Transport assistance provided by three ‘Butterfly Buses’ to take mothers and children to education, medical and other appointments;
-Practical and housing assistance, including the provision of clothing, furniture and baby items and support to complete rental and public housing applications;
-Pre-accredited courses in a wide-range of subjects, including cooking, baking, art and job readiness through our status as a registered Adult, Community and Further Education Learn Local provider;
-Advocacy and referrals with partners in health, education, welfare, employment and housing;
-Study Hubs;
-Supported Playgroup.

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