Our People’s Stories

Receiving positive feedback from our supported employees is one of the most rewarding aspects of our business. Here are just a few of our success stories from our wonderful supported employees.


After struggling with fluctuating work for years, Bianca sought something stable and rewarding. Bianca’s mum found an ad for Hands On SA in the newspaper and suggested that Bianca try it out. Now, after two years, Bianca works alongside her husband and appreciates the independence and value that Hands On SA brings to her life. She is glad she took the initial chance and tried something new because she now feels confident in her role and doesn’t look back.


Kelvin had passed a cleaning services course but had difficulty securing employment. He felt that many organisations were worried about taking on an employee with a disability. Despite this, he was committed to finding a job. After seeing an ad in the paper for Hands On SA, Kelvin applied and was offered a job. Coming from a manufacturing background, Kelvin felt most comfortable in assembly work. Now, over five years on, Kelvin demonstrates impressive productivity and says that he feels like he accomplishes a lot every day. Keeping active stimulates both his physical and mental health, and he reports that working has made him a happier person.


Sue is a longstanding supported employee with Hands On SA. It was over 8 years ago when a friend in her unit recommended coming on board. Sue said that she was sick of watching the four walls of her living room and wanted to get outside the house. Even when her friend later left Hands On SA, Sue found that she had made a solid friendship group and liked the friendly staff and so decided to stay. Today Sue is independent, catching the bus to work every day and working across a range of jobs. She especially likes jobs where she can keep her fingers busy, like packaging and mail campaigns. Sue is disappointed that she will be retiring soon and leaving the Hands On SA community, but looks forward to spending time on her hobby of arts and crafts.


Brian had been looking for a job with a recruitment agency for some time. He was only looking for something temporary at first that was easily accessible by bus from his home in Tranmere. After commencing work at Hands On SA, he was surprised as a month, six months and then a year passed by in no time at all.
He found that instead of having to go to work, he wanted to come to work. Now, ten years on, Brian still loves the atmosphere and work environment at Hands On SA. He finds the team flexible and helpful, so much so that at the end of the day sometimes he doesn’t want to go home. He’s got a close group of friends and feels like the work is really tailored to suit his skills, and particularly enjoys making boxes and labelling.


Jesse was unsatisfied with his previous employer, he did not enjoy the work environment and found it difficult to commute to work. He heard about Hands On SA through friends and now works here four days a week. His favourite job at Hands On SA is packaging, however he enjoys a range of tasks including linen folding and sorting. Jesse has made lots of friends at Hands On SA, and enjoys the neat and tidy work environment. He believes that working here has increased his confidence, and he has developed lots of valuable skills through the wide variety of jobs he does. Outside of Hands On SA, Jesse has an extremely busy social life. He enjoys weekly activities such as dancing with Dance Down, ten-pin bowling, swimming, going to the gym, shopping and cooking. Jesse loves his job here at Hands On SA and would recommend becoming a supported employee to all his friends.


Genelle has worked at Hands On SA Oakden since 2015. She used to love saying hello to everyone when she would drop her housemate off each day, so when her support staff encouraged Genelle to apply for a position she was very excited. Genelle is now very busy, working at HOSA four days a week. She loves the wide variety of jobs Hands On SA offer but her favourite is working in the Food Rooms. Genelle recently attended the NDIS launch here in South Australia, where she was able to hear the Premier, Jay Weatherill, speak about the new disability scheme and looks forward to the benefits the scheme may bring her to make more choice about her future. Genelle has been very thankful for the opportunities that Hands On SA has provided her. She has been able to broaden her skills and confidence, while working amongst her friends in an environment that appreciates her hard work.


Ryan joined the team at Hands on SA in 2002 and has been with us for fifteen years. He works three days a week and enjoys a variety of jobs including packaging, counting and sorting products. During his days off, Ryan likes to play cricket and goes tenpin bowling twice a week. He loves hamburgers, the colour yellow, singing songs and watching the Karate Kid movies. Ryan also enjoys watching sports, particularly the footy as he barracks for the Crows and Port Power, as well as tennis, with his favourite player being Andy Roddick. Ryan is proud to have become a part of the Hands On SA family and he has made many friends throughout his time with us. He would recommend working at Hands On SA to his friends outside the business, and to anyone else interested in supported employment, as he loves his job.