Weston Creek to benefit from new Vinnies store
THE POOR and marginalized people in the Weston Creek district will be the beneficiaries of a new Vinnies centre opening at Cooleman Court Shopping Centre.
St Vincent De Paul Canberra Goulburn CEO, Barnie van Wyk said the Society has a proud history in the area, having had local conferences, Holder and Waramanga, running in the Weston Creek area for 40 years.
In the last 12 months, these Conferences have provided over $63,000 worth of emergency relief and assisted almost 1,500 people with over 1,037 instances of emergency relief provided in the immediate area,” he said.
“The opening of this new centre is part of Vinnies’ long-term plan to provide better services to fast-growing areas, as the population increases in the Canberra/Goulburn region.”
Inaugural Centre Area Manager, Helen Curtin, gave a speech at the official opening and blessing, while centre manager, Kathryn Zwahlen, said the store had already started operating in the days leading up to the opening. The opening was attended by Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Yvette Berry, Jeremy Hanson MLA and Chris Steel MLA.
“People are loving the store, the design and the special things we’ve got, so it’s been very well received,” Ms Zwahlen said.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse, blessed and officially opened the building assisted by Weston Creek Parish Priest, Fr Michael Lim.
Archbishop Prowse also blessed the store’s volunteers whilst also highlighting the importance of people giving some of their time or making a contribution to Vinnies in other ways.
“Here in Canberra we’ve got all sorts of problems with homelessness and people on the fringe and the periphery,” he said.
“They can come here and get quality goods and the money 100 percent goes back into helping those on the periphery of life.
“That’s the Gospel in action.”
Mr van Wyk, thanked the Weston Creek community for their support of Vinnies.
He said this includes shopping in their stores, donating pre-loved items, supporting annual appeals and the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
“With the support of the community we will continue to provide a ‘hand up’ to people in need,” Mr van Wyk said.
The Vinnies CEO said the support of the local community has enabled them to open a new shop to serve the needs of the wider Weston Creek area.
“Many people know of Vinnies shops as a great place to grab a bargain,” he said.
“But not many people know that their purchase or donation goes towards helping over 2,300 people in the Molonglo region every year.”
The Vinnies Weston Creek Centre is located at shop 2/14 Brierly St, Weston ACT 2611, just left of the shopping centre’s Parkinson Street entrance.
It is open week days from 9am to 5pm and weekends from 9am to 4pm and the store is seeking volunteers.