Leeton Community Op Shop's mentor program a success

HAVING someone to guide you and show you the ropes can be a God-send when in a new environment. 

The Leeton Community Op Shop is reporting its mentor program is making a difference to the lives of those taking part. 

Participants come from a range of backgrounds and the main aim is to provide them with a range of skills and give them a place to feel comfortable while doing so. 

Op shop store manager Jodie Ridge said one aspect of the initiative was the creation of rags using specialty equipment, which are then sold back in the store. 

“These can be fellows who don’t get out there much or aren’t really engaged with the community,” she said. 

“Our social inclusions officer will send them a letter and try to get them involved in the community, so then they come along and work alongside our mentor Jim Kidman and they have a great time. 

“It does bring in a bit of money for the store, but it is more about having that inclusion for these fellas.”

The program has received good feedback and Mrs Ridge said it was making a difference. 

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“We had one fellow who we sent a letter out to, but never thought he would come in, but now he is coming in regularly and he’s really blossomed,” she said. 

“This program goes four days a week and we can always grow that as well.”

Those interested in finding out more about the program should head to the op shop in Pine Avenue. 

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