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America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In every single one of those it has signifi- cantly outperformed the comparison employment system. On average 61% of people with severe mental illness receiving IPS return to work. When young people access IPS in the early stages of their illness and combine education as well as employment, rates of success have been approximately 85%. “We are also running employment programs, bringing in local businesses to meet with employees, to help relaunch them,” Shane aadded. “We have people working here now who are confident and articulate, but could barely look you in the eye when they first arrived. This laundry is a vital social enterprise: it is valuable to Toowoomba and its families, and the benefits are very clear to all involved in the laundry. People are happy, smiling, and it benefits the community. Whole families are better off because one person has found a job and some purpose, a social network and safety net.” THE LAUNDRY And it goes without saying, Shane is pretty chuffed with the new digs. Vanguard Linen Services is based on a 9 year contract with St Vincents Hospital, but also has motel and other local customers. “This is a brand new custom-built commercial laundry. We use state-of- the art European laundry technology from Girbau, who were right across this project, bringing the highest standards for health, hygiene and quality. “As part of the Vanguard Laundry philosophy, we source all of our linens and garments from ethical and sustainable suppliers. Our laundry processes are monitored and measured to the Australian Laundry Standard AS/NZS 4146:2000. “We are the only laundry in the Toowoomba region that offers a full barrier wall wash system,” Shane said proudly as we toured the gleaming plant. 42 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER JANUARY FEBRUARY 2017 During the build, the barrier wall is up, the clean room elements are slotting into place, with dryer, computer controls and dryers visible.
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