Op shops offer more than you might expect

For Liz Ward every batch of donations that comes through the door at Vinnies brings with it a sense of anticipation and discovery.

“You never know what is going to come through the door, there’s always the anticipation of finding some treasure,” she said.

Ms Ward has been with Vinnies for two years and in her role as a retail area coordinator oversees 16 shops, including four in Ipswich.

She said in recent years the humble op shop had changed significantly.

“Certainly Australians are very generous with donations and in recent years we have done a lot of work to make our stores more contemporary,” she said.

“Gone are the days of musty, dark shops selling cast offs. What’s most important is every cent made in a Vinnies store goes to support our community programs.”

Ipswich First recently went along to Vinnies Springfield – the charity’s flagship Ipswich store – to check out some of the items on offer. Here is what we found:

Thrilling collectibles 

Op shops are a great place to grab a cool collectible. This colourful little number is a hand painted limited edition, complete with certificate of authenticity. It celebrates the UK children’s animated show The Magic Roundabout, which aired in the 1960s and 70s. All the characters are there including Dougal, Florence, Zebedee and Ermintrude. The show had a reboot in recent years, introducing it to a whole new generation of children.

Pieces with character

It’s not everyday you come across a cute, wooden children’s rocking chair. If unique items filled with plenty of character are what you are after, a Vinnies op shop is the perfect place for you.

Fine fashion bargains

Op shops are the perfect way to grab a fashion bargain. Only items that are clean and in good condition make it to the shelves. Among the items at Vinnies Springfield was a Hi There Karen Walker number waiting to be snapped up at $9.

Childhood favourites

Wish you could turn back the clock and rediscover childhood favourites such as The Magic Pudding and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie or explore 200 years of Australian poetry and short stories? Give Vinnies’ op shops a try – there are plenty of books waiting for new owners.

Beautiful bric-a-brac

Add that something extra to your home with some beautiful bric-a-brac. From fine china to nick-nacks and even furniture, there is something for every room of the house.

Limited edition art

It might not be your first thought when it comes to buying art, but in fact Vinnies’ op shops can be a great place to grab a painting or framed photograph. This image of Snow Gums at Charollote Pass in NSW is the 62nd of 200 prints and was on sale at Springfield.

Vinnies Springfield at 22 Commercial Drive, Springfield is open seven days – 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Saturday and 10am – 2pm Sunday.

Number of people Vinnies' Western Diocese helped in 2017

Number to Vinnies stores in the Ipswich area

Value of services and support provided to Queenslanders in 2017

Vinnies volunteers Susan Farrelly, Jodi Byrne and Ana Pereira.

More helping hands needed in Ipswich

Volunteers can help in a variety of ways in the shops and no experience is required as Vinnies provides on the job training and support.

Roles include helping customers, sorting of donations as well as pricing and display of items.

Vinnies is flexible in terms of days and times volunteers can work and working in a store is a great way for volunteers to give back to their local community while also learning new skills and meeting new people.

A police check is required for all volunteers who work at Vinnies.

To volunteer in the Ipswich region phone 0437 967 589.

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