The staff, volunteers and customers of Vincent’s are delighted to be celebrating another successful year – for the fifth time in a row!
And they have good reason to celebrate, as Ballymena Vincent’s (SVP shop) at 11 Cushendall Road has been the setting for five fabulous years of raising funds to help local people in need.
The occasion was marked on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for customers with a 10 per cent discount off all items for sale in the popular premises within the grounds of All Saints Church.
Shop Manager, Mary Dempster says it’s the public’s input combined with a devoted team of volunteers that has led to the shop’s continued success.
“We’ve had another very good year. People have been very kind and generous and aware of other people’s needs once again,” she said.
“We have had lots of donations coming in, and because they’re good quality items, they always move very quickly out of the shop.”
Every penny raised through sales goes back into the community to help people in need in the local area through the work of St Vincent de Paul.
Mary pointed out that the cross-community shop is always looking for donations to help keep up the supplies of stock for their ever-growing number of customers who come, not just from within the borough, but from all over the province.
“Furniture and ladies’ clothes are very popular, and we would also welcome donations of bric-a-brac, books, shoes, handbags and clothes for men, women and children.
“It’s coming up to the time of the year again for First Holy Communion, so we would really welcome donations of Communion dresses and suits,” she said.
Those who take a look into Vincent’s for the first time will be amazed at the range of merchandise for sale at realistic prices.
Donations can be picked up free – while for those who are buying, a delivery service is also available five days a week for a nominal charge.
Also, out of hours clothes donations can be left at the clothing bank located in the car park at the rear of the adjacent All Saints Church.
Donations of items solely for recycling are also welcome and these can be left in to the shop, bagged or boxed and labelled ‘for recycling’.
Mary stressed that Vincent’s is blessed with a team of hard-working volunteers without whom, she says, the shop could not operate.
“At least half of the team have been with us since we opened, and we regularly have people volunteering in the shop for Duke of Edinburgh Awards and for employment related experience and very often they come back to us to help out after that’s over.
“If it wasn’t for our volunteers, we simply wouldn’t have a shop. They give of their time freely and do a fantastic job. I can’t thank them enough.”
Mary also paid tribute to the local SVP Conference and Committee for their continued valuable support of Vincent’s.
She added that the Society of St Vincent de Paul – whose ethos is to alleviate poverty – is also involved in the very popular oil stamps scheme and stamps are available to buy at Vincent’s.
So, why not call in today, if you haven’t already done so –and prepare to be amazed at the selection as you browse around the shop, which is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am-5.30pm.