Business started late at Presbyterian Support's Timaru goodwill store yesterday after a volunteer became ill while locked inside.
Police and ambulance staff were called to the Church St shop about 9.40am after another volunteer found the woman sitting in a chair in the shop but unable to get to the locked shop door.
Presbyterian Support South Canterbury chief executive Michael Parker said the sick woman had been the first of the volunteer staff to arrive for the day. As was the usual practice, she had locked the door behind her while she organised the till and waited for other volunteer staff members to arrive.
Mr Parker said emergency service staff smashed the glass front door to get to the woman because that was quicker than sourcing another key for the building.
Ambulance staff treated her at the scene before taking her to Timaru Hospital, where she remained last night.
The shop is run by about 100 volunteers from various Presbyterian churches and provides Presbyterian Support with $35,000 in funds each year.
Mr Parker praised the work of the shop's volunteer staff, who often took it on themselves to take clothing home and wash it before it went on the racks.
It was also a source of clothing for some of the organisation's clients.
"If our Family Works services have someone arrive with not a lot, we can provide them with quite a lot of stuff (from the shop)," he said, adding the store had also been used to assist families in crises such as a house fire, when they had lost clothing.
- © Fairfax NZ News