The Gingin Community Op Shop started after the Red Cross Op shop behind the old Road Board building closed in 2013 and some of its volunteers decided that Gingin still needed an op shop.
Those volunteers decided they would try to run a community owned shop using, as a temporary location, the shed behind the Gull servo.
Gingin Community Op Shop secretary Ann Callen said the shed had been generously offered to them, on a peppercorn rent, by the Gull servo owner.
“Cleaning and setting up the shop in the disused shed was an immense task.
“Keeping it clean and trying to display the stock to its best, because no one wants to buy tatty looking stuff, has been an uphill journey.
“The Treasure Trove has always aimed to sell beautiful, clean, affordable clothes and household items that are ‘preloved’ rather than tired and obviously second hand.
“We must have done something right because apart from our lovely regular locals, we have customers visiting from Perth and are now on the op shop tourist holiday trail.’’
She said the op shop had been extremely fortunate to have been well supported by the whole community and the Shire of Gingin with the local shops directing customers to the op shop for items they do not carry.
“We have always had a steady supply of donations, although occasionally the supply is overwhelming – Covid lockdown clear-outs – were a case in point.
“Over time the op shop has almost become the defacto recycling centre of choice for Gingin; this has, occasionally, caused a few over supply problems but it’s only as an absolutely last resort that things are sent to landfill.
“High fashion dresses and business clothes are regularly taken (by one of the 33 original members) to Paraquad, other surplus clothing is taken to remote op shops in northern WA, small soft toys are washed and given to Wheelchairs for Kids and any suitable but unsaleable clothes are cut for bags of tradie rags.’’
The community op shop has been financially viable from the beginning.
“This has enabled it to make grants ($100 – $3500) to many/most Gingin social and sporting groups (juniors to seniors), to assist with money for town social/cultural activities, i.e., Christmas Carols, Arts in the Park, 150th anniversary duck race, Anzac Day Gun Fire breakfast and to give immediate assistance in time of crisis both to community and families.
“The Trove paid for almost a quarter of the Gingin community car, made a large donation to the new playground (GOAS) and has paid a substantial amount to support the chaplaincy at Gingin District High School for the past four years.’’
She said the committee had been looking for and saving towards more appropriate accommodation since the shops first day, in the temporary Gull shed nine years ago.
“With any luck and a following wind the TT@G will get the lease to the old Fire Station in October 2022.
“The builder has estimated that the renovations, some of which are legally essential, will take about three months (or more depending on the availability of materials).
“Best, or worst, case scenario the volunteers will be moving the shop in the February heat.’’
Earlier this year the Treasure Trove @ Gingin was an entrant in the Western Australian Community Achievement Awards in the Woolworths community group of the year category.
This article appeared on Yanchep News Online on 16 September 2022.