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• Salvos Stores resource folder

Illawarra Salvos Stores Regional Manager Dale Cheetham (right) and Helensburgh Salvos Stores volunteer Susan Ward with the Helensburgh local assistance guide, created by Shire Salvos to help store staff and volunteers assist customers in need.

Salvos Stores across southern Sydney have been gifted a local resource folder so that staff and volunteers can provide information to customers needing assistance.

The resource – rolled out throughout the Sutherland Shire and Helensburgh in Wollongong’s north – was created by Salvation Army Community Engagement/Mission Leader Michelle Wheatley, who works part-time at Sutherland Salvos Store.

She said he was finding that when she was in the store, staff and volunteers regularly referred shoppers to her who had mentioned that they were in hardship. As a community worker, Michelle was able to chat with them about their needs and make referrals for them to Salvation Army and other local services.

“And I was thinking, ‘well, what about when I’m not there?’” she said. So, she developed a folder full of information on different Salvation Army services, other charities, lists of where people can access free food and meals, and places where they can get assistance. She also created a personalised one for every Salvos Store within the Shire Salvos area, where community workers are positioned part-time.

Staff, volunteers and management have gratefully received those folders. The one in Helensburgh Salvos Store now lives under the front desk so that if any customer mentions that they are in need, staff can give them access to the folder and allow them to take photos of the brochures, phone numbers and information within it.

“Salvos Stores is often the first point of contact for people in our community who are hurting and in need,” said Michelle. “It feels good to equip staff and volunteers to be able to point them in the right direction for assistance.”

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