6 June 2024

'Please come out and see us!' Vinnies open for donations, preparations underway for 'Goodies Junction'

| James Coleman
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Goodies Junction

Goodies Junction signage went up at the Mugga Lane and Mitchell sites on Monday, 3 June. Photo: James Coleman.

Until Monday, Canberra’s Vinnies stores had to turn away furniture donations, no matter how nice. That’s no longer a problem.

Four days after St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn took over The Green Shed and renamed it ‘Goodies Junction’ at the Mugga Lane and Mitchell resource management centres, donations of chairs, tables, TV units, office chairs and more have been pouring in.

“Both locations of Goodies Junction at Mugga Lane and Mitchell have been a hive of activity to say the least,” Vinnies director of commercial operations Lindsay Rae says.

“Currently, staff are doing their induction training, receiving and pricing donations, along with assembling racking and shelving.

“Over the next few months, we will be introducing more racking and more shelving, which means that we will be able to accept more donations and sell a bigger range of products at great prices.”

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The Green Shed held several ‘make-an-offer’ days to clear stock from the floors of the warehouses ahead of the handover to Vinnies, with the operators Charlie Bigg-Whither and Sandie Parkes removing the rest by truck on Thursday, 30 May.

The couple have flagged they might use this stock when The Green Shed returns in some form in the future.

So when staff returned on Monday, 3 June – now as Vinnies employees – it was to a blank canvas. But not for long. Both warehouses are open to donations between 7:30 am and 4:45 pm daily, and there’ll be plenty of stock by the time the shops reopen on 1 July.

“The response from people dropping off donations has been fantastic,” Mr Rae says.

“We appreciate the kindness being extended to our managers and staff on-site during this transition.”

Goodies Junction

The shops reopen on Monday, 1 July. Photo: James Coleman.

Of The Green Shed’s 84 staff members, Vinnies has confirmed 50 have opted to transfer.

To help make this process as smooth as possible, all staff were invited to a casual meet-and-greet dinner last week to “chat about what the first day will look like and what being employed by us will mean”.

“We look forward to getting to know them in the weeks and months ahead as we work together to deliver this important service,” Mr Rae adds.

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Concerns have been raised over what may happen to pricing based on some of the tags seen in Canberra’s Vinnies stores. The ACT Government has assured it will remain “transparent”, and Mr Rae says the only change is that items will now be priced individually.

“My message to those concerned about pricing is to please come out and see us when we open,” he says.

“When the shops open, you will see the same low prices you have been used to seeing, with items selling for as low as 25 cents. The only change will be that all items will be priced, so you know the cost before you get to the till.”

Goodies Junction

Fifty staff members opted to transfer. Photo: James Coleman.

Vinnies is on a mission to cut the number of items sent to landfill from its stores by 10 to 30 per cent over the next four years.

Mr Rae says the funds raised through the donations will enable the charity to provide more support to the “growing number of people across our community experiencing hardship and homelessness, while at the same time reducing the amount of landfill”.

Goodies Junction at Mugga Lane and Mitchell is open to donations from 7:30 am to 4:45 pm every day. The shops will reopen at 7:30 am, Monday, 1 July.

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Thomas Cameron8:58 pm 06 Jun 24

Keep begging “vinnies”. Few people will shop there any more.

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