THE BEAUTIFUL Valley Op Shop was recognised for its outstanding support and contribution to the Wilmington community, collecting the 2017 Andamooka Community Project Award.
The Op Shop’s efforts were celebrated at the Office for Volunteers’ South Australian Volunteer Awards at Adelaide Town Hall on Monday, June 12.
Established in May 2014, the Op Shop has invested between $35,000 and $40,000 into Wilmington, donating to support several local venues and organisations.
SA Governor Hieu Van Le presented Op Shop Manager Helen Chatfield and her daughter – the Chairperson of Wilmington Progress Society – Emily Chatfield with the award.
Helen said the statewide recognition came as a surprise.
“It was amazing, we didn’t think we'd win. We were highly excited,” she said.
“The Op Shop won the award, but to a large degree the whole town won the award because locals donate and come in and buy, so we couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of the whole town.”
The Op Shop donated about $8000 to the Wilmington Oval entrance upgrades, as well as $6000 to the kitchen and outdoor seating areas in the Oval Complex.
The community-run shop paid for the new plants at Centenary Park and new signage at the Anglican Church, as well as making significant contributions to Wilmington Primary School and Wilmington Play Group.
The Op Shop also donated $2000 to the Booleroo Hospital.
Helen praised the Op Shop’s sub-committee members for volunteering their time.
“What has been amazing is that we’re open seven days a week, which is quite astonishing in a little country town to get enough volunteers to be open everyday,” she said.
The Andamooka Community Project Award, one of three awards presented at the South Australian Volunteer Awards, was open to all volunteer community projects that provide significant community benefit.
The award honours the inaugural winner, Andamooka Progress and Opal Miners Association, who delivered a 29-kilometre water pipeline to Andamooka.
The ceremony’s other winners were Michael Brisco (Joy Noble Medal) for initiating and developing the Bikes for Refugees program, and Phil Hoffman Travel (Premier’s Award for Corporate Social Responsibility) for its ‘giving beyond self’ staff philosophy and helping Minda Inc with fundraising and social inclusion initiatives.
The Beautiful Valley Op Shop is located on Wilmington's main street, alongside the Black Sheep Cafe. The shop is open seven days a week from 10am until 3pm.