VOLUNTEERS have worked tirelessly to reopen Korumburra’s Hillside Lodge Op Shop in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Manager Anne Millar said the shop closed temporarily on March 28 to protect the health of volunteers and reopened on Friday, May 8, following a cleaning blitz that kicked off immediately after the closure.

“Every day since we closed in March, three of us have been in the shop each day with others helping when needed. We completely cleaned the shop within an inch of its life,” Anne said.

“We repainted the kids clothing area, the display room as well as replacing carpets.

“We moved down to the front of the shop where we spring cleaned, scrubbed all the gear in the kids toy area, which is still closed, built and painted two orange display units either side of the fireplace and cleaned out all the shelving packing away everything, which allowed us to clean all shelves and do repairs where needed.”

Anne said the store reopened solely to allow people to restock their winter needs at the best price.

“We opened our first shop over 15 years ago with our clothing prices at $3 an article for adults’ clothes, 50c for babies’ clothes from size 0000 – size 2 and $1 for sizes 3 – 16,” she said proudly.

“We have kept these prices the same all these years and have [raised] many thousands of dollars to support Hillside Lodge Aged Care Facility.”

The attention to care continued as volunteers recleaned and restocked racks and shelves in the week of opening.

Sanitiser is provided for customers and staff, and safe distancing measures have been put in place.

“Each morning, prior to opening, I personally wipe all surfaces down and the door handles are sanitised a few times a day,” Anne said.

“I have chosen to keep the change rooms out of action now as the nightly cleaning takes me one to one-and-a-half hours a night and these would add extra time. I clean all floors in the main part of the shop and mop them with White King every night.

“The last thing I do each night is to spray the coat hangers on all racks with Glen 20 as people move them along to check out what is available all the time.”

She also cleans benchtops, counters and other areas that people touch regularly throughout the day and limits the number of customers in the store at a time.

The volunteers’ efforts have been widely appreciated.

“A lot of people have no family close by and find the op shop a great social place to go and feel welcome.

“One chap came in tonight just to say thanks for opening and that everyone had missed us. We have missed all our customers as well. They are our friends as well as customers.”