More Than a Job: Nurturing a Culture of Care at New iMage Laundry

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Last updated: 17/04/2024

Every Tuesday, amidst the steady rhythm of machines at IMPACT Community Services’ New iMage Laundry, you'll find Ann Duffy stationed diligently at her ironing post. At 80 years of age, and with a career spanning an impressive 65 years, Ann has weathered many storms.

Yet, a few weeks ago, she found herself facing a challenge unlike any other. "About four weeks ago I had a complete meltdown," she confides, reflecting on a moment of vulnerability. "I've never been through anything like that before."

In her time of need, Ann turned to Brendan Laws, New iMage Laundry Manager, seeking solace and support. "I came into work on the Tuesday, and I just went to Brendan, and I said, 'I'm in a bad way and I need to talk to someone,'" she recalls.

What happened next is a testament to the remarkable culture of care and support that defines the laundry, and IMPACT more broadly.

Brendan wasted no time. "Fifteen minutes later, he's down at my ironing station and he says, 'I've got the Chaplain, Lynne, coming over to see you in about an hour.'"

"Lynne came and she sat down, and she talked to me. Next thing I know, Brendan's here again after Lynne's gone, and he says I've got Marta (Mental Health Worker from IMPACT) coming to see you. Marta was wonderful."

Ann continued to receive consistent care and guidance. "Every morning Brendan would come in and see how I was," Ann shares. "There's not many companies that would give you that kind of help."

"Brendan is a top boss," Ann affirms. His leadership style, characterised by genuine concern for his team's well-being, sets the tone for the entire workplace. It's an ethos that permeates every aspect of New iMage Laundry—a place where kindness, community, and compassionate leadership is not just corporate speak, but a lived reality.

What sets New iMage Laundry apart is its culture of solidarity and empathy. "Everyone down there does seem to help one another," Ann observes. In this nurturing environment, employees don't just work alongside each other; they support and uplift one another through thick and thin.

Ann's journey is a testament to the transformative power of support. "If I hadn't had the help I got from work, I don't think I could have done it," she acknowledges. “I genuinely mean that.”

Her resilience, coupled with the unwavering backing of her colleagues and management, enabled her to navigate through adversity and emerge stronger.

As Ann looks ahead, she does so with renewed determination. "I'll be ironing for quite a while; I've no intentions of retiring," she declares.

For further information about IMPACT's social enterprise laundry, as well as our diverse array of programs and support services, feel free to reach out to us at 1800 179 233, visit the New iMage Laundry website, or simply complete the Contact Us form.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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