Continues to provide meaningful work, community services
Natalie Hamilton

Whether they’re tending to garden beds in a residential community or gathering up recyclables from a Vancouver-area business, Don’t Sweat It continues to provide meaningful employment for people who have a developmental disability.

As the organization’s business manager, Paul Colvin enjoys watching the rewards unfold for the Don’t Sweat It crew.

“The best things I see are the individuals contributing,” Paul says.

“They get excited about payday, being part of the crew and they get to see all different parts of the city. At the end of the day, they’re out there working and feeling like they’re contributing.”

Don’t Sweat It Services was launched in April 2011 as a social enterprise of posAbilities, which was seeking a way to create meaningful employment opportunities for the people it serves. PosAbilities saw the opportunity to build on three of its existing work-experience programs:

•EcoRangers had been operating a recycling pickup service to small office and retail outlets since 1995.

•Aegis Work Crew had been providing such services as lawn cutting, power washing, small moves and rubbish removal to residential customers since 2001.

•Lady Bug Art Gardens had been providing garden services, power washing and lawn cutting since 2008.

Now that the organizational side of the business is well underway, Paul says Don’t Sweat It, which consists of three supervisors and 11 crew members, is anticipating the next phase of operations.

“We’re expanding our business a little bit,” Paul says, noting Don’t Sweat It will be pushing out into the community even more through marketing and by participating in events.

He foresees the opportunity to grow the recycling, small moves and interior and yard clean-up aspects of the business in the coming months.

Don’t Sweat It will continue to participate in farmers’ markets, trade shows and make presentations “so we’re meeting people face-to-face,” Paul says. He’ll also be exploring potential partnerships with community businesses. Ultimately, “we’re trying to get more business for the individuals.”

While business is quieter at this time of year, the pace will pick up in March as tulips and other spring flowers begin to poke through the soil.

Community members seeking recycling, yard and interior clean-up and small moving services, can also promote economic inclusion by contracting the Don’t Sweat It crew.

For more details, visit this link or call 604-872-4001.

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