04 Jul
Darryl’s story: A second chance

Darryl’s story: A second chance

This week we’re catching up with Darryl, one of the friendly staff at the Balcatta Recycling Shop (BRS)! We’ve been lucky to have him on our Catering team a few years back, and now as a welcoming and helpful POS operator who greets everyone with a smile.

He shares his unique story of before joining us and just how much life has improved since then.

Starting afresh

I was in a tough period before Workpower. I struggled with a drug addiction and a learning disability, and was in rehabilitation for two years. During this time, I learned what was most important to me – my daughter. My commitment to her forced me to grow stronger and fight for a better life. I wanted to be there for her as a father and grow our relationship.

In the past, I had experience working as a landscaper and car detailer. For six years I worked in various cafes in a number of roles, including as a barista and short-order cook.

But despite all my experience, I couldn’t get a job. It was a very difficult time.

Part of a new team

I finally got a break when I was referred to Workpower Employment Consultant, Jan Cartmell. I didn’t know what to expect from her, but she was exactly what I needed to kickstart my journey towards employment. Jan was super supportive and encouraging, and helped me land a position at the cafe, 1905 Coffee on Newcastle, now 1905 Catering.

It was great to be working again and making use of my experience as a barista alongside a close-knit team. I learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of, and regained my confidence.

Making a difference at the BRS

Since then, I’ve moved to the BRS. It’s a new environment with different challenges, but I love every single day of it!

Everyone on the team has a heart of gold; we all support each other.

Working with Bill, Shaun, and the rest of the team is incredibly rewarding. We all look out for each other, and take time to listen to each other’s concerns.

Every day I meet someone new, and have the chance to connect and build relationships with locals. I enjoy working at the POS where I can put to use my knowledge about the products, give advice, and support customers and community groups. I’m passionate about providing high quality goods and good service.

But most importantly, being with Workpower has given me a whole new life.

I now have a new, comfortable home, a car, a dog, and can take care of my daughter. That’s why I’m so passionate about this organisation and spread the word as much as possible!


1905 Catering and the BRS are just two of our social enterprises that provide meaningful employment for people with disability. If you’d like more information on how we can help you, call us at 1800 610 665.

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