Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre opens community shop

It's already been serving the needs of the community for years, now Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre has opened a shop to support them even more.

The centre officially opened the doors of "Our Community Shop" inside Winmalee Village shopping centre on March 12, after many years of negotiations.

"The aim of the shop is to support the communities we work with," said centre manager Morna Colbran.

Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle, Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre manager Morna Colbran with property investment manager Bianca Barrett, administration manager Nicole Miles and portfolio marketing manager Lisa Mourga at the official opening of Our Community Shop in Winmalee Village shopping centre.

Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle, Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre manager Morna Colbran with property investment manager Bianca Barrett, administration manager Nicole Miles and portfolio marketing manager Lisa Mourga at the official opening of Our Community Shop in Winmalee Village shopping centre.

"It will not just be a place to find affordable fashion. It will also provide a community hub and a safe place where people can drop in and find a caring, listening ear, learn more about what services can assist them, and refer to other services. The shop also fits into our ethical strategy along with our food waste programs."

With many lonely or isolated people regularly visiting the centre, the new venture will be another place for them to connect.

"This is a fantastic achievement for our team. We work tirelessly and many of these hours are volunteered due to poor funding so we look forward to working even closer with community," said Ms Colbran.

"The centre assists many women who are finding times very tough, especially older women who have lost skills while being a mum, so we will provide the opportunity to assist women who volunteer to gain employment skills which can only strengthen our communities."

Portfolio marketing manager for Colliers International, Lisa Mourga, said Winmalee Village was proud to welcome the Winmalee Neighbourhood community pop up shop to the centre.

"Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre plays a huge part in supporting the local community and this opportunity will allow them to make an even bigger difference," she said.

"We believe in providing a shopping centre that has meaning for our customers and the Winmalee community, and that helps the community grow and thrive. We look forward to seeing the positive impact that comes not only from the presence of the pop up shop within the Winmalee Village, but through increased support for programs that the funds raised at the pop up shop will enable."

Ms Colbran added that "it has never been more crucial than now to support the many people who are facing financial stress as they lose their jobs".

"The community has been very giving to the centre with our Nourish Your Neighbour program so we sincerely thank them, however with the changes due to the COVID-19 virus we are facing new challenges with limited resources. If anyone requires assistance please do not hesitate to contact the centre."

The shop is open from Monday to Saturday.

"All community members are invited to come and have a chat with us and they can rest assured that all money raised will go back into the programs we run," said Ms Colbran.