A group of Mind residents have created their own small business to help develop work-related and social skills. The program is made up of residents and support staff from Mind services in Melbourne’s inner-north. Together they make body scrubs and room sprays, which they sell at local markets in the hope of raising money to fund a camping trip.

From designing a brand, creating budgets and understanding the importance of planning, this program has provided residents with an opportunity to engage in meaningful workshops with tangible goals. It’s also a space to explore creativity through product recipes and scents.

“Our regulars always reflect on how great it is,” Mind Community Mental Health Practitioner Bronte Delisle says. “Sometimes the participants just stand there in awe and say ‘a year ago it wouldn’t have been possible for me to be involved in something like this’ and they get a sense of pride from that. Some of the residents have held jobs in the past and this has been a great space for them to find their feet again and build their confidence.”

Kendall, a resident at one of Mind’s Supported Independent Living services, designed the logo for the business, which is known as ‘Scentsationall’. She says their small business has enabled her to connect with others and practice teamwork.

“The program gave me the opportunity to feel a part of something, a part of a team working towards an evolving goal that gave me a sense of achievement with each step of the process we ticked off,” she says. “It’s given me something bigger to focus on, something that feels like a ‘real-world’ project, something that makes me feel productive and capable. It’s something that’s encouraged me to re-engage in these creative outlets that I often forget I enjoy and benefit so greatly from.”

You can learn more about Mind group recreation, leisure activities and residential services in your area by calling Mind Connect on 1300 286 463.