The St Vincent De Paul Society has been giving a hand up to those in need in NSW since 1881. This has been through special local programs for the disadvantaged. Now in the new millennium, Vinnies shops help the community in ways that reflect contemporary society.

George Blakeley, Sydney Archdiocese Retail Operations Manager, said that in the last 18 months Vinnies shops have employed eight permanent and 16 casual staff members in the Sutherland Shire and St George shops alone.

“With a new shop opened at Box Road, Jannali and the major refurbishment completed at the Sutherland shop, it is expected that as they get busier, the number of new jobs will continue to grow. Paid staff complement the many dedicated volunteers who have supported our shops,” said George.

Sydney Archdiocese Central Council is also a major contributor to recycling and protecting the environment. Through thorough sorting techniques in the last year alone 400 tonnes of paper and 36 tonnes of metal have been saved from landfill and recycled instead.

This does not include the thousands of tonnes of items that were sold in Vinnies shops, which could otherwise have been placed by households in their regular waste. Recycling is made easier by the Vinnies Call Centre which organises 50,000 customer pick-ups annually.

Working closely with a number of exporters, Vinnies is also assisting by sending 1million kilograms of slightly blemished clothing to Africa and other developing areas of the world.

“If the items are not given to community members requiring our assistance, or are unsuitable for our shops then they are exported to where it can be repaired and delivered to those less fortunate than ourselves,” said George.

“Through the continued generosity of the local community in donating preloved goods and the giving of their time, Vinnies shops will continue to evolve and bring environmental and social benefits to our region.”

Media contact:  Phyllis Sakinofsky | Phyllis.sakinofsky@vinnies.org.au | 0417 446 430