Charity shop to be demolished

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 26/09/2013
timaru st vincent john foley
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
LOOKING AHEAD: St Vincent de Paul society Timaru New Shop Project committee chairman John Foley holds the plans for the new building, which will replace the one behind him on Stafford St.

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The St Vincent de Paul Society's charity shop is to be demolished, probably the first Stafford St heritage building to come down because it is earthquake-prone.

In its place a modern facility will be built to continue the organisation's welfare work.

Demolition is planned for March 2014 and the rebuild is expected to be completed by July.

Built in the 1890s, the shop meets just 18 per cent of the building code and to bring it up to a standard of about 34 per cent was estimated to cost $250,000 to $300,000. The new, purpose-built building will cost $450,000 and will include a shop, welfare office, foodbank, meeting room and public toilets with a baby-change area.

With a $200,000 loan from the St Vincent de Paul Society head office, the Timaru branch is applying for trust funds but will still have a shortfall of $150,000 and is looking to the community for help.

The organisation launched its fundraising campaign last night at the St Thomas Parish Centre, distributing pledge cards.

Publicity chairwoman Janine Tindall-Morice said the organisation had supported the South Canterbury area for more than 100 years, with about $30,000 to $40,000 worth of welfare each year raised through the charity shop. Working closely with Budget Advice and Women's Refuge, the organisation helps between 700 and 800 individuals and families annually.

Ms Tindall-Morice said not all its clients were on benefits. It also helped middle-class Kiwis struggling on one income without enough food to last until the next payday.

Ms Tindall-Morice said that during the rebuild, the three part-time paid staff and the many volunteers will be looking for a temporary central site to continue their work.

New Shop Project committee chairman John Foley said the committee saw the project as a vote of confidence in the work the society did in South Canterbury.

"The Timaru community has supported the society very generously over the years and the new building will emphasise the integral role played by the St Vincent de Paul Society in its community."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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