IT’S three years ago today (February 21) that Ballymena’s St Vincent de Paul (SVP) shop opened at Cushendall Road and staff, volunteers and supporters have much to celebrate given the success it has achieved since.
Mary Dempster, who manages ‘Vincent’s’ jointly with Geraldine da Prato, says: “The shop really has gone from strength to strength and that is down to the generosity of the people and Ballymena & District who continue to donate furniture, clothes and other good quality items for us to sell.
“Everything we raise goes back into the community to help people in need in the local area through the work of St Vincent de Paul,” she said.
Mary pointed out that the shop, which is cross-community, is always looking for good quality items to keep its stock supplies on the up, particularly for its popular range of furniture.
She added that, a present, they are also especially interested in donations of First Holy Communion dresses, due to local demand.
Those who take a look into Vincent’s will be amazed at the range of merchanise for sale at realistic prices - from ladies’ to mens’ and children’s clothing, to suites, settees, wardrobes and white goods, bric-a-brac and ornaments to books - Vincent’s stocks them all!
Donations can be picked up free while for those who are buying, a delivery service is also available five days a week for a small charge.
Also, out of hours clothes’ donations can be left via the clothing bank located at the rear of the adjacent All Saints Church.
Mary pointed out that Vincent’s is blessed with a team of hard-working volunteers, without whom, she says, the shop could not operate.
“We simply could not exist without our volunteers. They are a great bunch. Loyal and dedicated, they turn up each day and never let us down,” said Mary who also paid tribute to the local SVP Conference and Committee for their valued and continued support of Vincent’s.
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.
There’s loads of free car parking in the grounds of All Saints just behind the shop which is open Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am-5.30pm.