The St Vincent de Paul Society in WA celebrated an exciting milestone with a sod turning ceremony to mark the start of works on its new home in Canning Vale.

St Vincent de Paul Society CEO Mark Fitzpatrick said that with demand for Vinnies services continuing to increase they recognised a need to undergo some major changes moving forward.

“Over the past five years, Vinnies has contributed $81.5 million to help people in the community who are doing it tough, and over that period there has been a 17% increase,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“Alarmingly, we expect that demand for our services will increase by an incredible 50% in the next decade.

“Last year we delivered 32,000 household items through our Osborne Park depot, which also supports all of our metropolitan stores and many of our stores across the State.

“Unfortunately, after 25 years of operation in this location the demand for our services has meant that the depot has exceeded capacity. This limits the amount of people we can assist if we don’t move to a larger facility,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

For over 18 months, exhaustive research, consultation and planning have been undertaken.

“Obviously a project of this size is not undertaken lightly and we have done extensive research, planning and due diligence to reach a decision to build in Canning Vale,” Mr Fitzpatrick said. 

The new building will house a purpose built depot, the Society’s emergency relief call centre, specialist youth and financial counselling services, as well as the corporate support functions. A new Vinnies shop will also share the premises.

“Importantly, a key part of this project will assist us to expand services that help address causes of disadvantage for people we serve in the community,” Mr Fitzpatrick added.

To ensure that this project does not impact on the Society’s current financial situation, operations and service delivery, a targeted capital campaign is being undertaken.

As part of this Capital Campaign the Society has engaged Sue and Justin Langer as patrons, and has established a well-connected committee of high profile business people co-chaired by Brierty’s Managing Director Peter McBain and General Manager Commercial Troy Buswell.

Sue and Justin Langer said; “We are aware at just how blessed our family is and were honoured when Vinnies approached us to support their campaign.”

“This is an exciting time for the St Vincent de Paul Society in WA and we are grateful to all who are supporting us as we undertake this important project,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

A $5.7 million grant from Lotterywest has also been a welcome boost towards the capital campaigns requirement to raise $15 million for the project.