Vinnies Bellingen voted Volunteer Team of the Year

Rhonda MacGraw and Kay Vickers representing Bellingen Vinnies, the Volunteer Team of the Year.

 

BELLINGEN Vinnies’ team of volunteers has been named as Volunteer Team of the Year in the annual recognition awards run by The Centre for Volunteering.

“For the volunteer team at Bellingen Vinnies it is all about helping not only our small town, but all that Vinnies does, the friendship our small shop has created and having people from all backgrounds made to feel comfortable,” Rhonda MacGraw, Vinnies Bellingen Team Leader told News Of The Area.

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The newest Vinnies on the North Coast, the Bellingen shop opened in 2018 and the team of six has transformed the business.

Their tiny shop window has become a talking point in Bellingen, every week featuring new creative displays that engage passers-by.

“The community waits with anticipation to see what magic will transpire in the windows.

“We often link our displays in with what’s happening within the community, like The Bellingen Show, music festivals, Mother’s and Father’s Day.

“The team has worked tirelessly to improve the exposure of the shop and together we have improved its performance by over 150% in the past 12 months.

”This revenue goes towards providing assistance and services locally and state-wide – an example being Pete’s Place, the Homeless Outreach Service in Coffs Harbour.

“The Team engages cheerfully with every customer, welcoming them into the shop, assisting with good old-fashion customer service.

“Knowing what our regular local customers are interested in enables us to point out specific items they may wish to purchase.”

Michele, who works in the team, told News of The Area, “I find volunteering with Vinnies extremely rewarding and love the fact that we are all ‘a team’, no boss telling us ‘we can’t do this or can’t do that’ and our opinion is valued.

“I love the interaction with so many different people, not just locals, but people passing through with tales to tell, who are up for a conversation and sometimes, help.

“I find the most important aspect is that it is fun and I enjoy every day that I volunteer.”

Fellow volunteer Isla added, “I love volunteering for Vinnies because of the gorgeous team of volunteers who I also call family; it’s really inspiring to be around such passionate people who are also so dedicated to helping out the community.”

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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