Op shop gets facelift

A happy manager Jen Sjodin with regular volunteer Cherylin Kerr from Curlewis.

Ocean Grove’s favourite shopping destination has had a facelift and locals are loving the new look.

Vinnies in Marine Parade has been a well-kept secret for locals wanting to upcycle, recycle and bargain hunt, while giving back to their local community.

Now the shop has undergone a major refurbishment and happy shoppers are delighted.

Manager Jen Sjodin, who has been in charge of the shop for nearly nine years, said the new look did not mean any change to prices and the great customer care on offer in the shop by her merry band of volunteers.

“We keep saying to people the place might look different but it is the still the same great value prices, as well as the great atmosphere that we have worked hard to achieve,” Jen said.

“We know our customers love coming here because it is a fun place and it is my wonderful team of volunteers that give this place its terrific atmosphere.”

Vinnies first opened in Ocean Grove in 1987 in Madeley Street and moved up to its current location in the industrial estate in 2002.

Refurbishment of the shop was completed within a week mainly because of the hard work of a team of volunteers.

The shop is staffed by 85 volunteers but manager Jen said the shop was always looking for extra hands on deck.

“The more the merrier in this place,” she said.

“People get worried about making a big time commitment for us but even if they can offer a few hours on one day that can be a great help to us.

“We love our community and the support we get from locals but we would just to remind people that we can no longer accept furniture donations and we would also ask if people could just check that all donations are in working condition, or are of a high enough standard to re-sell as the cost of rubbish removal is just sky rocketing.”

Vinnies is planning to have the shop open seven days a week from September onwards.

Shopping at Vinnies is not just about grabbing a bargain as all money raised goes back directly to benefit the needy in Ocean Grove and surrounding suburbs.

Funds are used to support the local volunteer team who visit people in their homes offering practical help such as food hampers, fuel vouchers, help with bills and rent, as well as offering a listening ear.

The funds also support a holiday house in Point Lonsdale offering respite care.

According to the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria the need in the Ocean Grove /Queenscliff area has been increasing in recent years and is now up by 18 per cent.

This includes a 46% rise in the number of cases where material aid was given and an incredible 116% rise in the need for food.