“We know that the new shop – with 250 sqm of incredible bargains – will help shoppers to stretch their budget while getting high-quality items,” says Scott Marsden, Operational Manager West St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria.
“We have a wonderful selection of great items ranging from homewares to women’s, men’s and children’s clothes,” Mr Marsden continues. “I think we offer truly amazing pieces in the homewares space and also have a big book and toy section. Many items are brand new. Not to forget our very own Vinnies line from cosy blankets, tea towels, men’s socks and quilts. Everyone can find a bargain and, of course, a great selection of winter wear.”
“I am pleasantly surprised at the ongoing support we get from locals. We had so many people wanting to come in already. Everyone is excited about the opening.”
Liz Randle, St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Head of Commercial Services, says she’s particularly proud of the new shop’s change area.
“Originally, this was used as the cool room by the previous tenants. Instead of working against it, we decided to work with it, be innovative and have some fun. We turned it into the area that customers use to try on their new outfits to see how good they look. We are now ensuring that when you go in there, you’ll not only look good but really cool,” she says with a cheeky smile.
Vinnies Shops raise funds for the St Vincent de Paul Society’s local ‘core’ work of supporting people in need, and are predominantly volunteer-run. “We already have around 25 committed volunteers,” Mr Marsden says. “But we always welcome more. So, if there’s anyone out there looking to fill in a few spare hours a week doing something good, then please visit our website and apply to join our Vinnies family as a much-valued volunteer.”
Vinnies Victoria selected Footscray as the location to open its next shop because of the significant need in the area and the rise in the cost of living rise felt by many locals.
St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria has strong ties with the suburb: the Footscray Vinnies Soup Van service has been serving the local community for more than 30 years, and this financial year Soup Van volunteers provided 180,000 meals to locals. In direct response to this need, in 2021, our Footscray volunteers started up a new volunteer-run group aimed to provide further face-to-face assistance and a listening ear.
Through Vinnies Victoria’s housing provider VincentCare Community Housing (VCCH) and Big Housing Build partnership, the organisation will also build 92 social units in Footscray aimed to be completed in 2024.
The new Footscray shop is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays. New volunteers are always welcome, click here.
The St Vincent de Paul Society and its wide network of members and volunteers provide practical frontline support, advocacy and friendship for the most vulnerable members of our community. Key services include home visitation; Vinnies Shops; youth programs; soup vans; assistance for asylum seekers and refugees; education and tutoring; and professional accommodation and health services through VincentCare. The St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria has more than 10,000+ members and volunteers, and more than 60,000 across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 149 countries and more than 950,000 members.
To find out more visit www.vinnies.org.au.