Fund supports Op Shop extension

THE Uniting Church Op Shop, serving Bridgewater and Gagebrook, has been extended as a result of a partnership between the church, community and the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF).

The Op Shop in Gagebrook has been serving the local community for more than 10 years and provides an outlet for affordable clothes, furniture and homewares. The extension was required to provide a new and improved display area and restore the shop’s storage and processing facilities. The new shop was opened by the Brighton Mayor Tony Foster on 23 January this year.
The $190,000 cost of the project was met by a combination of Uniting Church appeal funds, the sale of a church building and a $40,000 grant from the TCF.

Rev John McRae of the Uniting Church said the Op Shop met a vital need in the community.

“It provides a source of affordable and recycled goods and helps many families in Bridgewater and Gagebrook,” Rev McRae said.

“The restoration of our storage and processing area means our adjacent church meeting room that we were using for this purpose, will soon be available for community meetings and classes.

“The Op Shop can now operate much more effectively and the enhanced facilities have been welcomed by the community, as well as by our volunteers.”

The not-for-profit Op Shop and Uniting Church Centre provide valuable support in the Bridgewater Gagebrook community. As an example, the Centre distributed hampers and toys to more than 300 families at Christmas and assists some 10 families daily under its emergency relief program.

TCF chairman Gerald Loughran said the Op Shop extension was an excellent example of how the TCF and the community could join together to provide a much-needed community facility.

“The TCF is pleased that it could provide funding to support such a worthwhile project, that will make a real difference to the lives of many families in Bridgewater and Gagebrook,” Mr Loughran said.

“It is a tremendous achievement on the part of the Uniting Church and all involved in this project are to be congratulated.

“Importantly, the community has an upgraded facility and the Op Shop can continue to serve local families.”

Over the past eight years, the TCF has provided more than $38 million in funding to 1072 community organisations or projects throughout Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 2000 from the proceeds of the sale of the Trust Bank, to make grants for worthwhile community purposes throughout the state.

The TCF holds two general grant rounds every year, each of which attracts approximately 250 applications and distributes funds across a broad range of project areas, offering benefits to many different community sectors and regions.

The TCF also conducts special targeted funding rounds and late last year, launched a special initiative titled ‘Building Tasmania as the Learning Community’ focusing on adult and family literacy. Expressions of interest for special funding under this initiative closed on February 5. These are now being evaluated and selected projects will be invited to make a full submission for funding.

The latest TCF funding round closed on March 26 and the successful projects will be announced in mid-June.

Further details and funding guidelines are available from Melissa Gunn on  6233 2920 or by email at