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Repsychlers Op-Shop back on track in the Tweed

Cliff Hawkey, Justine Elliot, Aunty Cath Lena and Leonie Crayden look through some old vinyl records for a hidden gem at Repsychlers.
Cliff Hawkey, Justine Elliot, Aunty Cath Lena and Leonie Crayden look through some old vinyl records for a hidden gem at Repsychlers. John Gass

MP Justine Elliot joined On Track Community Programs to re-open the Repsychlers Op-Shop in Tweed Heads this morning.

The store is operated by the not-for-profit organisation and employs 35 people living with mental illnesses, allowing them to socialise and enjoy the benefits of employment.

A large crowd was there before the expected 10.30am official opening, and organisers were happy to open the doors early.

Around 30 bargain hunters flocked to the cheap furniture, electronics and other bric-a-brac and the rush continued throughout the morning.

The Repsychlers store has moved from Recreation St and is now located in larger premises at 3 Beryl St, Tweed Heads.

Mrs Elliot was delighted to see the positive response from the community on the stores first day of trade.

"I'm really excited to be here launching the new Repsychlers," she said.

"What you've got here is more than 30 people who have mental health issues who have employment here.

"And I know from speaking to a lot of those people they just love it. They love being employed here, love the work that they're doing and it really is a credit to On Track."

Mrs Elliot congratulated On Track for their work in the community and thought the store would do very well.

"I encourage everyone in the Tweed to come along and grab a good bargain at Repsychlers," she said.

Repsychlers executive manager Cliff Hawkey was proud to see the store doing so well on its first day in a new location.

"It's a great opening," he said

"I had an official opening ribbon sitting on the front counter, but it's been sold.

"Our op-shop business enterprise has been running for about two and a half years now and we've got a good reputation and it shows by the amount of people that have come in."

Mr Hawkey said the op-shop was of great assistance to those with mental health issues, and helped them integrate into the local community.

"Everybody if they're given an opportunity can make a difference, he said."

"95 per cent of our supported employees here identify with living with a mental illness and they're all paid under award wages and conditions.

"It's very important, not only for the money that the guys get, but the training and skills they develop."

Mr Hawkey also wanted to thank the Federal Government for its help in filling in a mental health services gap in the shire.

Allandra Dallas from the Tweed thought the store was very well priced, and was surprised it was so busy on opening day.

"I'm a pensioner and I could furnish my whole house here, she said."

"It's like Myers on sales day."

Bundjalung elder Aunty Cath Lena was also at the opening and said the store was great for the shire.

Topics:  justine elliot, op-shop



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