Supported employees at Tulgeen Riverside Nursery are taking both pride and joy in being essential workers with a spring in their step when they got back on the job this week.
The nursery's supported employees have been authorised to keep working as essential workers during recent lockdowns.
This allowed them to stay connected and active within their local community.
Tulgeen's Riverside Nursery in Bega, is a retail Garden Nursery that provides training and employment opportunities to people with a disability.
Tulgeen CEO Peter Symonds said that one of the challenges many of the supported employees face during lockdowns is social isolation.
"Our supported Employees, Support Workers and Nursery Workers are authorised workers and proud to be working at the moment," Mr Symonds said.
Mr Symonds said for a number of the people working at riverside nursery, work is central to their lives.
"We were really conscious of that when we thought about how we could keep people engaged," he said.
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During the challenges of recent COVID-lockdowns, many people suffered from feeling disconnected.
It is for this reason that Tulgeen remained committed in supporting the community and their workers.
"I think like all of us at the moment, remaining connected to our workplaces is critically important for our mental health and physical health, and that is what is happening at the nursery," Mr Symonds said.
Due to the nursery being an authorised business, they were allowed to remain open during recent Stay at Home orders in NSW.
The team at Tulgeen continue to make sure sure they align their services to any NSW Health directives.
"These are challenging times, Tulgeen's Leadership Team meet daily to ensure we align our services to any NSW Health order and to strategise what we may need to do if circumstances change," Mr Symonds said.
"Tulgeen is 100% committed to follow directives and guidelines that come from NSW authorities to ensure the safety of all our people."
Riverside Nursery is open seven days a week and operates under a COVID Safety Plan.
Retail visitors to the Nursery must adhere to all NSW Government directives relating to shopping.
Riverside also offers the option of a collect service where shoppers can pre-order their supplies either over the phone or email and collect from the Nursery.