Contact Us | Login

The power of social procurement and innovative social enterprise thinking

July 19, 2020

Last updated on October 22, 2020

Spring Services Group (Hotel Housekeeping) & Lendlease

As a Bhutanese migrant, Sonan, 38, has experienced periods of unemployment and has struggled in recent years to find sustainable employment.

Eventually an opportunity arose with Hotel Housekeeping, a Brisbane-based social enterprise that delivers housekeeping services to hotels across Australia, while providing employment opportunities for refugees and migrants who are having trouble securing sustainable employment.

Sonan is now a supervisor and is working in a position he felt would always be out of reach.

“As a supervisor, I have been provided with the opportunity to undergo training programs to expand my skill set. I have learnt skills needed to manage and coordinate a large number of employees while also encouraging teamwork to ensure we get the job done to a high standard,” said Sonan.

“This opportunity has given me the confidence and reassurance to know that nothing is too big to handle. The work-life balance this job has provided me is amazing. I am able to do my job while looking after my family. I am very happy with how this opportunity has worked out.”

Having ‘pivoted’ its core service offering toward commercial disinfectant cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the business created 12 new jobs through a contract with Lendlease.

General Manager Shannon Price said the contract was a great result, given 2020 hadn’t gone as planned.

“Things were looking up for 2020 – we had big plans as most businesses did. Then COVID-19 struck and threw all our plans out the door – our operations virtually ceased as COVID shut down tourism and business travel,” said Shannon.

“A big measure of our social impact is improvements to wellbeing as well as providing meaningful training and support, so we faced challenges on a few fronts during the onset of the pandemic.

“We thought to ourselves, we have 20 cleaning staff ready to work so how can we adapt to offer our services? In the current climate, commercial cleaning is super high demand – that’s how Spring Services Group was founded, a commercial cleaning and disinfection services business.

“It has its own name, brand and business separate to our hotel housekeeping services, but it’s a neat sidestep with similar capability requirements to what our team already has.

“Within only weeks of establishing Spring Services, we had already secured a contract with Lendlease, to provide our commercial cleaning and disinfection services to three of their retirement villages.”

According to Lendlease Assistant Village Manager, Buderim Gardens Retirement Village, Derek Guy, the Spring Services team has been amazing.

“The service they provide is exceptional and they are always flexible and adaptable to last minute changes and requirements. They treat out residents with respect and kindness and are always positive and smiling,” said Derek.

When asked about how they secured the contract with Lendlease, Shannon explained that it was Social Traders who facilitated the connection.

“It was through the Social Traders network that we were fortunate enough to get an opportunity with Lendlease and their early retirement village portfolio,” said Shannon.

“Social Traders Certification has been a great support, knowing that we have the backing of a well-known and respected industry body.

“Their advice was even more important when we changed direction – it was literally a fundamental difference between success and failure.”

Even when the impacts of COVID-19 ease, Spring Services still hopes to see their work with Lendlease continue.

Back to Stories