Encompass Special

Doing all we can with what we have

Encompass’ Special Projects help to drive positive change in areas where our existing Divisions or Social Enterprises don’t quite fit the bill.
From long term to short term projects, we choose to be at the forefront of trends that drive opportunity, awareness and education for the community. From ‘Don’t Stare, Be Aware’ helping teachers and employers understand how disability can be a superpower in their industry, to ReadyEarth bags aiding in the reduction of landfill by creating reusable bags from material that would have otherwise been discarded. We’re here for the community and we’re not afraid to try new things to see how we can best be of service.

So here’s to always making  the impossible possible, because at Encompass nothing is too difficult, not too impossible…
we get things DONE!


Say NO to Plastic!

Encompass ReadyStart creates beautifully-designed sustainable shopping bags made out of pre-loved bedding, curtains and linen. These bags, called ReadyEarth bags, are created by Encompass out of material that can’t be used for linen any more, yet is too good to throw away. Every bag is sewn by our amazing ReadyStart local community volunteers who donate their time to help make these wonderful bags.

Initially ReadyEarth bags were only sold at ReadyStart and Apollo Place in Whittington but our ReadyEarth bags have become a big hit due to their beautiful and original design; not to mention how well-made they are and how every purchase helps save material from landfill. In 2016, we started selling these bags at The Flying Brick and the bags sold out very quickly. Now with special thanks to the Geelong Community Foundation, we are able to keep this project going and we now sell them at the Flying Brick, Leura Park, the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne and East Geelong Newsagency – all with positive reviews!

Want to see these bags being made by our wonderful volunteers? Just pop in to, 21 Apollo Place every Tuesday from 10am-1pm.
You’ll be able to meet Jenny who joined the program to teach our volunteers and participants sewing skills, all while making ReadyEarth bags for the community.

Special thanks to the Geelong Community Foundation who helped further grow the Readyearth Program and the ReadyStart team with a grant.

Already bought a RadyEarth bag? Then thank you for your purchase! 
Your bag was made from recycled materials that would have ended up in landfill; created by people living with a disability and supported by volunteers from the local community.
When you buy a ReadyEarth bag, you help improve the lives of people living with a disability; boost community connections and fight the war on waste.

Want to help out and Volunteer?
Currently, the ReadyEarth program runs for FREE at Encompass in Apollo Place, Whittington from Term 3, 2019 to Term 2, 2020. Tuesdays 10am to 2pm.
So if you know of anyone – particularly jobseekers with a keen interest in sewing – please feel free to SHARE this information.
Limited spots only per term, so it’s first in, best dressed.

Want to buy a ReadyEarth bag, and help your local community and the environment?
If you’d like more information on where to pick up one of these wonderful bags give us a call on 03 5222 33 77 or email info@encompass-cs.org.au

G’day Mate

Removing the stigma from mateship

“A few triggers that can seriously impact one’s mental health are isolation and people not having the sense of community around them like the footy club, work mates, social acquaintances and healthy relationships with others”.


G’day Mate Coach, Encompass

G’day Mate organiser Matt, knows first hand about enduring personal challenges and tackling adverse situations with mental health. For Matt, a forced career change instigated change in many different ways which led to him studying mental health and reinforced his deep desire to help more people.

When Matt started working in community services, he recognised how many males were either socially isolated, didn’t have a sense of community or Mate ship, or even a social outlet that can aid social confidence.
These factors combined with varying other personal circumstances put people at a risk of being exposed to mental health challenges.

G’day mate soon formed from lived experience, learning and being exposed to a variety of people with varying stories to tell and skills to share.

The vision: to create an environment that’s safe and comfortable, catering for various interests.
The criteria: “be a good person”.

Everyone’s got a background, story or circumstances, however we care about good people being around good people.
A respectful, supportive group of guys who are ok with hanging out with good people.

Stay tuned for more information as this program is just launching.
Want to join in, take part, or volunteer?
Contact Matt at

Project Sprout

At Encompass’ Paddock, there are no barriers – only growth

Project Sprout, is an evolution of another successful program that Encompass ran a few years ago called ‘Urban Farm’. Sprout is funded by the community and works on rewards rather than penalties.

Sprout will engage jobseekers in a long-term transitional program through work at the farm (gardening, nursery work, etc). The project will equip them with not only practical skills, but with social and employability skills as well (ie working within a team, committing themselves to attend to the sessions, interacting with others, articulating their ideas, being a leader and team player). Encompass also seeks to improve participants’ engagement within the community and reduce feelings of social isolation; helping to break the cycle of helplessness/low self-esteem and improving sense of self-worth, leading to broader aspirations.

Who do we help?
Project participants can access the Sprout program (primarily a mentor program) at The Paddock for FREE. This is open to all jobseekers living with a disability, with a keen interest in horticulture.

How Sprout helps growth!
The project will run for 2 days a week, for 5 months at The Paddock – Encompass’ farm in Leopold. Towards the end of the program, opportunities for mock interviews with future employers as well as work site visits are available. This gives the jobseekers an opportunity to network with future employers, increasing their chances of getting a job. A Work Reference can be provided by the mentor and a certificate will be awarded to the participant at the end of the program. Participants will also be offered the opportunity of our FREE Pre-Employment courses at Encompass’ college (Basic Computer Course, Steps to Employment Class – eligibility criteria apply).

Want to know more about The Paddock?
Check out The Paddock’s page or email thepaddock@encompass-cs.org.au to find out more about the amazing projects we run.

Wyndham Outreach

Disability Employment & NDIS Service Desk

Our Disability Employment Services Desk at Wyndham has been assisting clients since last year. In February 2019, the Wyndham Outreach Office started establishing linkages with the local Council and other local organisations to promote our disability support services. A courtesy call was made to the Wyndham Council’s Access Inclusion and Diversity Team and we are now a registered member of the Wyndham Disability Support Network.

On 18 May 2019, we launched our first NDIS Made Easy Morning Tea at the Wyndham Park Community Centre. Around 45 guests attended the event coming from local families, support groups and community organisations. A similar event was also conducted at the Wyndham Park Primary School. We started to attract local NDIS participants, we inducted our first 6 Disability Support Workers who will form our Wyndham Opening Team. We are now delivering our Recreation and Travel activities and In-Home Domestic Supports to some of our Wyndham participants.
All of this was just in the first few months of opening, and we have been very busy since.

Encompass has some exciting news coming up in the Wyndham & Werribee area very soon, to find out about this great news or to get in contact with Jorge our Project Officer for Werribee and Wyndham Park Community Centre you can email Jorge at jorge@encompass-cs.org.au.

Want to find out more about our services?
Visit our EGF Disability Employment Services page or check out NDIS Services page.

Don’t Stare Be Aware

Disability Awareness Training for your business or school 

Faye Dixon is a Project Officer at Encompass Community Services. Faye has developed and also facilitates the “Don’t Stare be Aware” Program, a Disability Awareness training program giving real life experience of disability in the workplace and the community.
Within this training program, Faye will talk about several types of disabilities and hopefully YOU will get a better understanding of what people with disabilities “CAN DO rather than what they CAN’T DO

Want to find out more?
Check out the Don’t Stare Be Aware page to see how your business or school can get involved.

Colour Me Rad

Apollo Place’s Rad Repaint

Whittington is bursting with vibrant colour thanks to Colour me Rad.

Funded by the City of Greater Geelong, the ‘Colour Me Rad’ project was able to create a FREE 10-week art mentorship with accomplished local painter Mandy Dollery (Part of Geelong Illustrators & How You See It Art).  This project ran at our amazing Apollo Place, mentoring 8 young artists to paint over the graffiti on our building and turn it into street art that represents the community.

These artists created vibrant works at the HUB 3219, bringing life back to the building while engaging with the community. This in turn has helped to reduce vandalism and graffiti at The HUB.

Now HomeStart and Apollo Op Shop have a bright & colourful paint job created by some very talented young local artists.

Want to see it for yourself?
Pop on down to 21 Apollo Place, Whittington, and share your pics on Facebook

Healthy Cooking

On a Budget

It’s about learning how to cook inexpensive but healthy meals for your family.

People in the 3219 postcode may not have access to healthy food due to access, know-how, convenience patterns or other socio-economic reasons. The aim of the program was to let people know that it is possible to have healthy meals even if you are low on budget; and even if you don’t have time – because it is super easy.

It’s a life skill– you don’t have to spend much in order to lead a healthier lifestyle. You just have to know and invest in some time to learn the tricks – and that’s what the program just did.

The program was funded by City of Greater Geelong and ran in Term 2 2019, every Wednesday night at 3219 Eat.

Want to see or taste the great food we have at our little community driven cafe?
Visit 3219 Eat at 21 Apollo Place Wittington, or drop us a line at eat@encompass-cs.org.au.