The Mirror News

Op Shops running like well-oiled machines

WITH 3 locations and around 45 remarkable volunteers it’s little wonder, since its beginnings last December, close to $150,000 worth of goods will be sold by Christmas.

“The thing I feel most pleased about is how people have come together and are working harmoniously as a team,” said Linton Court Retirement Village Treasurer, Lloyd McKenzie.

The joint community activity is between Prom Country Aged Care (PCAC) and Linton Court Elderly Peoples Home Society Incorporated.

“Linton Court Retirement Village had a shop in the Shire offices and had to move out,” said Sandy Bucello, committee member representing PCAC.

“PCAC had been looking for something ongoing and stable and we thought an Op Shop was a good fit.”

And so, began a very exciting opportunity.

Lloyd said the landlords of the 2 shops, the Kidd family and Ray and Sue Dower, have been fantastic as have local tradesmen and community minded people who worked tirelessly to get the shops ready.

“I just want to thank them for their ongoing support,” he said.

Sandy explained that the shops evolved because there wasn’t enough room at 18 Main Street (next to the shoe shop) for furniture so a pop up shop was opened last Christmas in the old Dower garage.

“We extended it until Easter because we’d made so much money from it. We realised we couldn’t let it go,” she said.

“It was possible to stay on that site, so we’ve continued on and now call it the Garage Sale Outlet.”

Joan Webley said the new shop in Main Street has been busy since the word go.

“Judy Barnard planned the setup of the shop and did a tremendous job. It all works very well but of course we could always do with more room.

“Every day we have comments on how nice and friendly the shop is. We all enjoy working together and it’s remarkable that we all get on with all the different personalities,” she said.

She said that without the tremendous effort of the warehouse ladies supplying the shop none of it would be possible.

“They are in the background doing all the sorting and hanging.”

The warehouse at Banksia Lodge is integral to the smooth running of the whole operation and Pam Mathers and the rest of the team work so hard to keep the standards high.

“Everything comes into the first room and we hang it all for a week to air. It is then all sorted into sizes and dresses, jeans, sportswear and so on,” Pam said.

There are a number of rooms where things are sorted into teenagers, babies, menswear and womenswear.

“There’s linen and all sorts of things to sort through. Lifeline get the overflow which they collect once a week,” she said.

Sandy said that people are happy to donate their unwanted items when it’s for the community.

“We have been overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of the stuff donated.”

A lot of people are moving into the aged care sector and are downsizing their houses and have furniture and other things they want to get rid of.

“The amount of work being done is mind boggling with each team doing an exceptional job.

“There are a number of people all with different areas of expertise including a transport team and the core ladies who have worked so hard for 20 years and the all the volunteers in the 3 locations,” Sandy said.

The money raised by the Op Shops does not go towards organisational costs. It’s used to build assets.

“Linton Park Retirement Village is using their share to do refurbishments on the units and apartments and PCAC’s money is going into the building,” she said.

For the first week of December there will be celebrations at both locations to mark the first 12 months of operation.

There will be lots of specials and fun and games and Lloyd said they are now selling electrical appliances that are tested and approved.

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