News / Community / Business / 1st July 2020
Vinnies excited to re-open
After closing its doors for more than three months at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coonabarabran’s St Vincent de Paul store is set to re-open on Tuesday, 7 July.
“We’ve been given the directive from headquarters that we are able to re-open, but it is each volunteers’ decision as to whether they want to come back at this time,” store manager, Lois Sutton said.
“Considering that the majority of our volunteers are over the age of 60 and at risk, now would be a great time for some young people to volunteer their time in the shop.”
Despite the decision being out of her control, Mrs Sutton said it was still sad when they closed the doors to the public on Monday, 23 March.
“The resilience of the community during the closure has been amazing, especially as we have some pockets of our farming families that aren’t doing as well as others,” she said.
“I am thankful that we were still able to offer some emergency welfare support during the shutdown, but I think increased Government support has helped people to look after themselves.
“Ideally, it would be nice to see this level of support continue.”
Relying on donations, the shop has not been able to generate income in 15 weeks.
“We are thrilled that we are just days away from being able to receive good, saleable items again.
“Winter is usually a busy time, with people requiring warmer clothing items and blankets.
“I know a lot of people have used the past few months to clean out their closets, but please know that, at this time, we can only accept one to two bags per person through the front doors.
“We can not take anything that is left on the footpath - it has to come through the doors.”
Mrs Sutton said they were excited to be re-opening.
“It will be a bit different in the shop for the time-being, with social distancing and hand sanitisation essential,” she said.
“We’ve also taken the opportunity to change the shop around, which will allow people to move through the different sections in one direction with ease.
“Working as a volunteer in the shop is often a social outing for our volunteers and they have been missing out on that, so we are looking forward to greeting our customers again!”
Coonabarabran ADRA store manager, Vicky Poyser, said they had plans to re-open their shop sometime mid-August.
St Vincent de Paul store will be open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 3pm, with welfare hours from 1-3pm on Tuesdays.