Seventy going on seventy-five

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By Arie de Bruyn

The South Melbourne Community Chest opportunity shop is having its lease extended for another five years. The decision is still pending and yet to be finalised in September. Yet things are looking bright for the future of this local pillar of the community.

The opportunity shop, located at 200 Bank Street in South Melbourne, has been an exemplary model and system of support for members of the local community. The organisation has operated for the past seventy years and throughout the past ten years the organisation has assisted with the raising of funds for various community groups throughout the area. In addition to this, the successful running of a business that provides quality second hand goods at reasonable prices.

As per the Local Government Act 1989, the statutory process requires the Council to advertise its intention to lease and invite submissions from the local community before making a final decision. As any term of lease less than ten years and greater than one year where the market rent is greater than 50k per annum is subject to this statutory process.

Mayor Amanda Stevens says, “In their 70 year history, they’ve facilitated the launch of the local YMCA and helped fund and establish the Claremont Home for the Aged. In the last 10 years, they’ve raised between $44,000 and $70,000 annually for local clubs and organisations.” They raise funds for those in need, including, but not limited to, the elderly and the disabled.

The opportunity shop decides allocation of funds on a case by case basis. The group applying for funds submits an application and this application process is open to all community groups and organisations. Once the application is submitted, the application is brought forth before a committee where the decision for the allocation of funding is decided.

Eftpos is available for purchases within the store, as this has become a general practice through out modern opportunity shops. The staff are very friendly, the shop has a vast range of clothing, toys and household goods that are all environmentally friendly and sustainable. Dallas, manager of the Community Chest opportunity shop, states, “The main focus is to support the community, we do this through the funds raised and making members of the community feel welcome to come in and have a chat.”

The community’s thanks goes to the Community Chest opportunity shop for its continued support and development of community organisations through the area. Their commitment to community values are something that we, the community as a whole, can take pride in. Their welcome and friendly atmosphere that they provide as a store, their affordable second hand products and their continued assistance to the disadvantaged. The community thanks you and wishes you all the best for future endeavours over the next five years.

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