An opportunity to help the community

March 20, 2024 BY

Opportunity knocks: Tamara Leyshan, Cherie Jamieson and Marg Smirk all enjoy friendships and meeting new people through volunteering at the op shop. Photo: SANDRA JAMES

AMBULANCE Victoria Heathcote Auxiliary Op Shop is seeking more volunteers to join their team.

The op shop has operated in various locations in High Street for more than 30 years.

Barbara Walker-Donnelly has been president of the auxiliary for 32 years alongside Laraine Leask as vice-president.

“We would love to have more volunteers to help,” Ms Walker-Donnelly said.

“We rely on volunteers to keep the op shop open for the Heathcote Community and surrounding areas.

“If anyone has some time to spare, it’s a great way to meet people while helping a good cause.”

The Heathcote branch is one of only two ambulance op shops still operating in Victoria. The other one is in Inglewood.

“I love everything about volunteering at the op shop,” Carol Foster, who has been with the auxiliary for more than 13 years, said.

“The interaction with the other volunteers and all the lovely people I meet. It’s wonderful.

“Before COVID-19, we used to be open five and a half days a week but now we only have two and a half days.

“If we had more volunteers we could open more often.

“There are lots of different jobs to do, not just serving on the counter. We need people in the back room to help with sorting and other jobs.

“All the volunteers are great. We get on well and help each other out if we can’t make it in some days.”

Ms Foster particularly loves recycling.

“I love seeing how everything is recycled and repurposed. We try to make use of everything we can,” she said.

“And at the end of the day, all the money we raise goes towards building a new ambulance station.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer can call into the op shop on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday morning for more information.