The BEST Community Shed is on the cusp of opening, giving residents new place to browse, with all proceeds recycled directly into the local community. The Shed will formally open in its new Otho Street premises on Saturday, February 11, but at the moment, a big team of volunteers is busy sorting, moving, cleaning and refinishing the mountains of clothing, items, and furniture given to the charity.
Though the project is about providing low-cost items to the Inverell district and generating funds for local not-for-profits, the Shed gives people a place to find community.
Volunteer Diane Riggs has worked in other charity shops, and said she is happy to be involved in the project. “All the girls, we were working before, we just missed each other, missed the unity,” she said.
The Shed project was conceived by BEST programs co-ordinator Danny Middleton, but his father, Ken Middleton, recognised a population who needed purpose, and said stories like Diane’s were another benefit to the project.
He cast his eye across the busy team of sorters who laughed and joked with each other.
“These people here, they have the greatest need. They were left with nothing to do. Danny needed the retail outlet, we needed to get this up and running, and so why not combine the two?”