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Cafe tips in for Op Shop appeal

January 24, 2022 BY

Winchelsea Sweet Thyme Cafe owners Danny Ehmer and Nicola Wilkinson are donating their tips and proceeds from fresh flower sales to a fundraising appeal for a new hospital Op Shop. Photo: SUPPLIED.

A WINCHELSEA cafe is foregoing tips to support an appeal to rebuild the town’s hospital-fundraising op shop.

Sweet Thyme Cafe has donated $1,000 to a restoration fund and is also forwarding all tips and proceeds from its flower bunch sales.

The fundraiser is for a new Winchelsea Hospital Auxiliary Op Shop, where volunteers raised tens of thousands of dollars each year for Hesse Rural Health until the previous Gosney Street store burned down in November 2020.

Cafe owners Danny Ehmer and Nicola Wilkinson said their customers had generously supported the appeal to restore the important community facility.

“I know a few of the ladies that volunteer their time. We saw them on the day that it burnt down and how devastated they all were,” Mr Ehmer said.

“So it’s about getting them back up and running again and raising money for the hospital.

“I know it’s sort of slowed up a little bit, those things start with a bang and then they wane, we’re trying to reignite it a bit and keep it out there with the community, that we need to keep raising funds for them.

“We had a bit of trouble keeping up with the flowers and were running out of things to pick from the garden.”

Mr Ehmer estimated the cafe had collected about $700 from flower sales and tips to add to the $1,000 donation it made to kick off its fundraising drive.

Hesse Rural Health and Winchelsea Community Bank have each backed the Op Shop appeal.

The hospital picked the cause as the beneficiary of its annual appeal last year, while the bank has pledged to match community donations up to $50,000.

Hesse Rural Health has prioritised a rebuild of the Op Shop and has postponed the development of its aged care precinct master plan.

The hospital has devised plans to create a new shop at the site of the heritage-protected former Orchard Bakery and Fox’s Den Café at 44-46 Main Street.

The plans would renovate the existing shop and adjacent house to cater for the needs of the Auxiliary group and build a new shed area and community health offices.