If you’re looking for an opportunity to volunteer close to home that provides you with friendly social interactions, a first look at second-hand and vintage wares, and a knowledge that all incoming proceeds support programs in the local area, then this might be the role for you!
The Anglicare Victoria Treasure Chest Op-Shop is in desperate need of new volunteers, willing to work as little as one day a week in store, or in the warehouse.
Lesley Conway has been the Lilydale Op-Shop Coordinator at Anglicare Victoria for 18 years, and she has never known there to be so few enquiries for new volunteers. She said that up to a third of the volunteers that were working in the op-shop before the pandemic finished up because they were vulnerable to Covid-19.
“Unfortunately we’ve had to make the decision to reduce the Op-Shop’s warehouse operation hours, we just don’t have enough volunteers available to receive donations, price them and put them out for sale. Our existing volunteers are feeling the pressure, they want the shop to remain open so a lot of them are doing extra days,” Lesley said.
“If we had another five or six people, it would make all the difference. There are a few different roles people can do, we have positions on the shop floor as well as in the warehouse, and we’re pretty flexible so we can tailor the role to a person’s capability.
“There’d be a casual meet and greet for would-be volunteers, just to make sure they’re a good fit for the team. We make a point of recognising and thanking our volunteers regularly, we’ve just had a team breakfast which was really lovely. We’re looking forward to having some new faces join the group.”
As well as having good quality, affordable and sometimes rare items, the funds made by the op-shop supports local programs run by Anglicare Victoria. It also played a pivotal role in supporting the recovery efforts that took place after catastrophic storms hit the region in 2021.
Rachel Mission, Team Leader of Recovery Support at Anglicare Victoria, said often recovery workers didn’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on replacement furniture and essential items for residents as they knew they could rely on the op-shop to source them. That freed up their budgets for helping affected residents in other ways.
“The team at the op-shop was absolutely fantastic in providing essentials to residents of the Yarra Ranges who lost so much during last year’s storms. As most of the recovery work took place during lockdown, we couldn’t just walk into retailers and buy white goods or furniture – and that’s where the op-shop was invaluable,” Rachel said.
“One or two days after we’d put in a request for a wardrobe or a mattress, we’d receive a message from one of the volunteers saying they were getting the item in the truck and were heading off to deliver it to the resident in need. Their dedication to going above and beyond for someone in their hour of need was heart-warming.”
People interested in volunteering the Anglicare Victoria Treasure Chest Op-Shop can contact Lesley Conway on 0400 179 786 or email Lesley.Conway@anglicarevic.org.au. Would be volunteers are also welcome to leave a message at the Anglicare Victoria office in Lilydale.
Volunteers will be required to undertake a Criminal History Check and Working With Children Check before they commence, Lesley can assist with this process if applicants are feeling under-confident.
The Anglicare Victoria Treasure Chest Op-Shop is located at 24B John Street Lilydale and is run by dedicated volunteers. Current opening hours are from 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 1pm on Saturdays.