1 May, 2021

Words: Jennie Walker, ADRA Busselton Op Shop Manager

The Busselton ADRA Op Shop is located in the Busselton CBD, right near Centrelink. During COVID-19, with so many waiting in line outside Centrelink, a whole new clientele has discovered the shop.

Early in 2016, the landlord informed the Management Committee that they intended to sell the property. Initially, there was a sense of despair. The thought of needing to find a new shop, packing and relocating was overwhelming and it seemed we might have to close.

The leadership at that time were inspired to seek help from the Seventh-day Adventist Western Australia Conference who purchased the property for us and covered the mortgage payments. The security of having our own building has allowed us to concentrate on other things.

Inside the ADRA Busselton Op Shop

While the shop and its location are ideal, there has been one frustration. We haven’t had sufficient space on site to deal with the sorting of donated goods. We have had generous space at the church complex four kilometres away where the sorting has been undertaken. However, this results in a lot of double-handling and inefficiencies.

The op shop property has a large back yard and the dream was that we would build a big shed to allow everything to be undertaken in the one location. But such a project seemed unattainable. Meanwhile, there was a rundown, stand alone, single car garage on the site and it was decided to renovate this as an interim measure to provide some sorting space. This would allow us time to raise funds for a bigger shed development.

After the New Year break of 2020, work on the renovation started in earnest. Many hours were spent removing asbestos and replacing part of the frame. But then a winter storm flattened our garage and there was no option but to step out in faith and plan in earnest for the large shed we always wanted.

The shed that was flattened in the storm

ADRA Victor Harbour Op Shop in South Australia gave us a generous donation, other smaller donations have come in, the WA Conference have undertaken to assist us with the cost of power and sewerage connections and we are well on the way to making a 130 square metre shed a reality.

Our Development Application has been approved; the final plans have been signed off. We are waiting on final costings and the approval of the plans by Council. We have sufficient funds to get the shed in place and are trusting God to provide the needed funds to fit the shed out with laundry facilities, an office space, insulation and lining, sorting tables at bench height, and shelving for storage.

We have put in a grant funding application to Busselton Water for assistance with our laundry and have been gifted second-hand paving bricks from the Local Council to pave between the shop and the shed.

Whilst this development is going on, we are still contributing to the High School breakfast and lunch program, assisting the ladies at the Women’s Refuge and providing emergency relief. We are represented on the Combined Churches Welfare Group and participate in the distribution of Christmas Hampers with this group.

Our op shop is the face of our church in this community. We have an amazing team of dedicated volunteers and look forward to expanding our team once we have our shed in place.