GG’s Flowers and Hampers, a local Canberran florist company which does more than just make beautiful arrangements of flowers, is changing the world one flower at a time.
This social enterprise business is dedicated to providing people living with a disability in Canberra the opportunity to have meaningful employment and social opportunities through work.
Nip Wijewickrema and her family created GG’s so that her younger sister, Gayana, who has Down syndrome, could have meaningful employment along with some of her friends.
Nip’s work with GG’s and the work she does in the community for people living with a disability saw her recognised as the 2016 ACT Young Australian of the year.
Having started eight years ago with one employee, Gayana, GG’s Flowers now boasts 40 employees of people living with a disability.
From simple beginnings in the Wijewickrema family home bathroom, the business has grown exponentially and GG’s has called their Farrer shops storefront home, for the past two years.
While creating beautiful bouquets of flowers and gorgeous hampers, GG’s employees are also involved in a multitude of social activities such as bootcamp, lunch clubs, basketball and zumba on a weekly basis.
Paired with social group activities, you can find everybody at GG’s enjoying anything from laser tag, paint and sip classes, going out for dinners and even enjoying a cheeky goodberries together as a group, as part of their community access.
Having regular weekly corporate clients, along with customers who return for every birthday or special event, GG’s employees are paid award wages, just like any other employee who works at a florist. Every hamper or arrangement of flowers has the option to be delivered, in the pink GG’s van, by employees who do every delivery with a smile.
In 2018, just 53.4 % of persons living with a disability were in the Australian labour force, compared to 84.1% of those living without a disability.
Nip says that GGs is committed to being able to supply meaningful employment, along with strong leadership and support, to all of their employees.