After thirty years of volunteering her time to the Midland community, you could be forgiven for thinking that Pat Maher might be looking to take it a bit easy but that’s not the case for this Vinnies Stalwart.

Swan View resident Pat Maher has been working at the Midland Vinnies store since the early 1980’s and has seen many changes in that time.Pat Maher

Pat ran into a friend in the street who asked her if she would be interested in volunteering one day a week at the local Vinnies Store. Pat thought “why not, I’ll give it a go” and the rest as they say is history.

“When I started we used to not only run the shop but look after a lot of the welfare support for the local community,” Pat said.

“People would call the shop in need of assistance and we would organise for someone to go out and see what they required. Now all calls for assistance go into the central office in Belmont and are coordinated from there.

“Also over time technology has changed a lot and we had to be trained up in the use of computers.”

The one thing that hasn’t changed for Pat is the pleasure she gets out of helping people, meeting new people and also seeing those people who have been coming into the store for years.

“There is such a sense of community spirit and camaraderie doing something like this, Pat said. “I’ve lived in the Midland area most of my life and  I enjoy seeing the familiar faces and saying a cheery hello.”

Over her 30 years Pat was at one time the shop manager for 6 years, a purely voluntary role, but nowadays Pat is content to do one day a week.

“It’s good for you,” Pat said. “There is no time to be lonely.”

The Midland shop recently re-located to 5 Keane street Midland and we would encourage people to check out the new premises. The shop is also in need of winter supplies and donations as well as more volunteers.

Vinines volunteers are trained in all areas of working in a retail environment including register operation, customer service, sorting and pricing donations and merchandising.

Anyone interested in volunteering at Vinnies Midland should contact the store manager, Voyna on 9349 5372 or visit the Centre during opening hours.

For further information about Vinnies Retail Centres or the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society visit www.vinnies.org.au or call 9475 5426.

National Volunteering Week - 12 to 18 May

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Media contact: Joanne Hill, Media and Communications Coordinator, WA
joanne.hill@svdpwa.org.au | 0417 247 290 | (08) 9475 5426