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Community generosity creates more local jobs and opportunity

South Australia’s largest employer of people with disability has celebrated the opening of a larger, fit-for-purpose shed in Port Lincoln to attract and create more jobs!

Today's thank-you event and recruitment drive was for all the community groups, commercial customers and supporters of Bedford Port Lincoln who helped breathe new life into the important regional enterprise. The event also featured the unveiling of a photo and plaque in honour of our biggest benefactor over the years, Sime ‘Sam’ Sarin, who sadly passed away in 2020.

The Bedford team, located at Coronation Place, already works with local fishers and seafood producers on a variety of tasks, such as making ropes for tie floats on mussel farms, and even octopus traps for customers like SA Premium.

“The problem was the old shed was too small and needed some TLC. That’s when Bedford reached out to the community, and the response was overwhelming,” Bedford CEO Myron Mann said.

In just a few months, the Rotary Club, Port Lincoln Council, Bendigo Bank, the Sarin family, and other local groups and charities came together, raising more than $140,000 to build a new seafood shed!

“Now we have the capability to offer more jobs for people with disability in the region and to supply new and existing customers with expanded offerings such as oyster baskets, tuna straps and other fishing essentials,” Mr Mann said.

But incredibly, the grassroots fundraising didn’t stop there - Rotary also came to the party to help Bedford bituminise and landscape the main driveway and carpark, ensuring it is accessible and wheelchair-friendly.

Following the thank-you party, Bedford Day Options and Experiences, along with the Employment Services team held a Community Open Day from 1-2pm, to showcase the activities that clients and employees are involved in on a daily basis.

Bedford employees Craig Coudry and Geoff Varney with Bedford CEO Myron Mann at the Port Lincoln fishery shed opening.