Raising hope from ashes

June 22, 2021 BY

The proposed site for the new Winchelsea Op Shop. Photo: SUPPLIED

HESSE Rural Health’s Annual Appeal hopes to pave the way for a new Winchelsea Op Shop following the devastating loss of a community asset.

The annual appeal is being launched with efforts to replace the town’s previous Op Shop located on Gosney Street that was destroyed by an alleged arson attack.

A new home for the pre-loved store has been earmarked for the town’s main street, with fundraising needed to complete the project.

Proposed by Hesse Rural Health together with the Hospital Auxiliary, the concept will include a larger shop to accommodate for the needs of the community while raising money for local health services.

A spokesperson from Hesse Rural Health said the new home set to be located at 44 Main Street will bring life to an under-utilised, historical building.

“The proposed Op Shop design embraces the building’s valued heritage and will recognise and pay respects to its significant history in the town, ensuring the legacy of both the former Orchard bakery and attached dwelling are protected,” they said.

“This type of historical restoration would be significant for Winchelsea’s township and provide an ideal location for the Op Shop, however the project comes with additional financial challenges.

“Ensuring the many historical aspects of the buildings are preserved is a key focus, with this project to restore and celebrate the bakery’s historic oven and fireplaces, which has been built around and covered during past years.”

The appeal will centre around rising from the ashes and creating a new base for the Auxiliary.

“The fire of the previous shop was devastating to the Auxiliary volunteers who have been so generous with their time over many years, building the shop up and increasing the amount of fundraising for the health service each year,” the spokesperson said.

“For many passionate volunteers and regular customers, the shop was a lifeblood providing great friendships.

“Not only did the residents of Winchelsea lose access to the shop, for many they also lost an important community connection.”

To donate, head to the Hesse Rural Health website and see the donations link under the ‘Supporting Us’ section or contact 5267 1200.

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