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Op shops prepare to open

Vinnies manager Giles Kendall-Corpent. PHOTO/FILE

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When the op shops open at Alert Level 2, they won’t be the same as they were. Milling around looking for a bargain, while having a casual chat, is unlikely to happen, according to Giles Kendall-Corpent, manager of Wairarapa’s Vinnies.

Many of the customers at St Vincent de Paul’s charity store in Carterton are regulars who not only come in to shop but also for a chat and “catch-up” with Kendall-Corpent. The store is for some people a “drop in centre” to see friends.

“People get an item and then chat but at Level 2 we are most likely going to have people waiting at the door and will need to limit the amount of people in the store at once,” Kendall-Corpent said.

“This is not how the shop normally runs and even kids will need to stay with their mum instead of running around picking up soft toys or rummaging through the free box – these things just can’t happen at this stage.”

Like other charity shops in Wairarapa it supports local causes and sells recycled clothing, toys and homeware at a fraction of the price of buying new.

“We sometimes give away items to people, especially single mums that need home items,” Kendall-Corpent said. “They need curtains or clothes for their children. We have been contactable to help people out during the lockdown.”

Vinnies, like all other Wairarapa charity shops remains closed at Level 3. But people can drop their no-longer-needed goods to the back of the shop at SH2 Carterton from 10am to 3pm because Kendall-Corpent is there to receive contactless deliveries.

Charles Gear is a volunteer at the SPCA charity shop in Masterton and on Monday was cleaning and organising in case they open soon. He has missed the store and the people, he said.

Manager of the Wairarapa Resource Centre, Trudi Jones said she was at the tip at the weekend and it was “heartbreaking” to see the items being dumped.

“People have had five weeks at home and are cleaning out their houses and now the tip is open are dumping [goods] rather than giving their items to us because we are closed,” Jones said.

Jones is keen to get a drop-off system going and is desperate to open.

“People are in need and we are really hoping to get open mid-next week. If other shops can do contactless shopping I hope we can get on with this too.

“We are coming in to winter and people need bedding and blankets from the charity stores – I am desperate to get back in there.”

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