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• Beenleigh cuppa and chat


Major Heather McKeon (right) with volunteers and participants and her weekly Salvos Store coffee and chat group.

On Thursday mornings in southern Brisbane, shoppers at the Beenleigh Salvos Stores outlet experience an enhanced retail experience – a cuppa and a chat with the local corps officer and volunteers. And they’re loving it!

 

Beenleigh Corps Officer Major Heather McKeon says her ‘office’ on a Thursday morning is her local Salvos Store, near the centre of the central business district. She started the coffee and chat morning at the store six years ago, and volunteers and store regulars love the chance to sit down and connect.

 

“Our aim is to provide a welcoming space for people to come for a cuppa and a chat,” says Heather. “We provide a listening ear for people.”

 

Heather and her team also support the store's volunteers and staff, and she says many have come to different corps events over the years. “We have a really good relationship with the Salvos Store manager; she is very supportive. At one stage, one of the volunteers would bring his guitar along, and we would have a sing-along, which was great!”

 

In June last year, the corps extended its Salvos Store ministry and started a monthly free sausage sizzle at the store on Saturday morning. “It’s aimed at people who need assistance or food or just those in the community who are lonely and who want to chat.”

 

Tables and chairs are set up, and tea and coffee are available. Heather says a nice little community is forming around the meal.

 

The Beenleigh Salvos Store is busy, and the area has a high level of social needs. The partnership between the corps and the store enables the outworking of the Army’s four mission pillars – Caring for People, Working for Justice, Building Healthy Communities and Creating Faith Pathways – within a Salvation Army enterprise.

– Lauren Martin

 

 

 

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