First year assessment

Online News Package

Our task was to create an audio-visual story as well as a text-based element on a topical issue for a local audience.

A big thank you to my assignment partner Nathan Biddle who captured all of the vision.

Charity workers thankful for public’s generosity

Local volunteers are praising the Sunshine Coast community for their “wonderful” and continued support of the region’s op shops.

People are generously giving to the stores which give back to various charities and raise funds for education programs for the underprivileged.

Sunshine Coast Community Hospice Opportunity Shop volunteer Cheryl Lennon said the community’s donations were greatly appreciated and never went astray.

“There is never, ever an excess,” she said.

“We deal with whatever we get.

“We sometimes have them piled very high but we always manage to get through them, sort them and pass them onto our other stores.”

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The sorting shed of Sunshine Coast Community Hospice full of donations.

Collection bins are set up around the Sunshine Coast for locals to donate their unwanted items.

Fellow volunteer Jenny Gatehouse said people were taking full advantage of these bins as there was never a shortage of donations.

“People are very kind,” she said.

“We get very good quality donations and they come on a regular basis, it’s just non-stop.

“They come daily with stock of everything from furnishings to clothing to brick-a-brack.”

With such a large number of donations, some items could not be sold due to their conditions.

However, Mrs Lennon said these items are welcomed and did not go to waste.

“Naturally like anything in life some [donations] are good and some aren’t,” she said.

“We do have to dispose of a lot of the stuff if it’s damaged or soiled … and that sometimes does cost us money to take it to the tip.

“Most of the clothing if it’s damaged we can put in bags we call “Africa bags” and they get sent away to underprivileged countries.”
More than 50 op shops on the Coast have become increasingly popular among locals.

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A customer searching through the abundance of clothes.

During October a Facebook survey found 32 per cent of participants’ shopped at the stores to find rare items.

While an additional 34 per cent are shopped there to save money.

Mrs Gatehouse said people chose to shop at the stores because of the financial and charity benefits.

“A lot of stock is brand new with labels, saving people money,” the volunteer of 15 years said.

“Plus everything that’s here goes fully to charity.”

Chaplain and eager op shopper Lynette Neil said the charity stores had great support because of the environment they created.

“I think they [op shops] are very important because they are a really good meeting place … for everyone in the community to mix together,” she said.

“Bloomhill especially means a lot to me because I had breast cancer.

“I found it the place where you go for companionship and an alternative look at what else can be added to your therapy.”

Fifty-two per cent of people would still like to see more support behind local op shops despite the increasing number of donations and shoppers.

Mrs Lennon said although any help is lovely more volunteers are always needed.

“Volunteering is very good,” she said.

“We never have enough volunteers because a lot of people on holidays or with family commitments.”

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