THE NEWLY renovated Vinnies store, in Cannonvale, will open in four to six weeks’ time with a brand-new Family Support Centre.
The Vinnies store, on Shute Harbour Road, has been closed for renovations since May 21, after the building’s roof suffered damage during severe wet weather, at the beginning of 2023.
Now, to ensure Vinnies can remain open for years to come, the store is getting a new roof, new branding, and a complete facelift.
The facelift includes a family support centre on site, where people in need can speak with a volunteer about their troubles and are offered clothing, food or relevant vouchers.
St Vincent de Paul Society’s executive officer for the Whitsunday region Sharon Nicholson said the previous store did have the service in place, but that it wasn’t particularly dignified or private.
“The previous store had this service, but it was only a curtain,” she said.
“In this store, we’ve built a proper, purpose-built office and waiting area, with its own secure entrance, so you can just walk down the side of the building and go into a waiting room and you’ll be seen by the team.
“There’s a huge need at the moment, especially with the high cost of living, and families are depending on us and I didn’t want to let them down.”
In the weeks to come, there will be a grand opening where everyone will be able to see the new look and feel of the Vinnies store.
In the meantime, Vinnies is operating in a smaller capacity, at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre, Cannonvale.
“We didn’t want to just close it and leave the community with absolutely nothing, so we found a pop-up shop in the old post office, in the Whitsunday shopping centre,” Ms Nicholson said.
“It’s nowhere near as big, obviously, but we’re still carrying as many lines as we can.
“We’ve got bric-à-brac, homewares, shoes, bags, scarves and clothes, so we’ve still got as much as we can and we’re trading out of that store until we open the big store.”