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Ryman Healthcare has donated truckloads of whiteware and other residential items to the Christchurch City Mission from a village site it is redeveloping in central Christchurch. The fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes driers come from Bishopspark village, which was previously operated by Anglican Living. They will be worth tens of thousands of dollars to the Mission. Bishopspark is near Ryman’s existing Park Terrace site and looks across Hagley Park in the heart of Christchurch. Bishopspark suffered significant earthquake damage and will be rebuilt by Ryman.
City Missioner Matt Mark said Christchurch City Mission had not only received whiteware but also other items, including chairs and furniture, from the site that Ryman had taken over. The material was invaluable in the sense that the Mission would otherwise have to go out and buy these items. The whiteware sales would help generate some tens of thousands of income plus practical use and provide an “incredible impact”.
“Some of the soft furnishings that came out, have actually gone into our emergency accommodation spaces. So they’re being well utilised by our men and women on a daily basis.” There was also a use for the furniture when the Mission helped those in need set up a family or individual in a home.
Ryman Healthcare has already taken on the obligations of some of Bishopspark’s existing residents and has plans to redevelop both central city sites as one village. The Mission has had some items for sale at its Great Opportunity Shop at 275 Hereford St, Christchurch and on to other shop locations, currently being refreshed by the charity.
The transfer of goods was a result of luck and the foresight of Christchurch City Mission Property Officer Brendan Douglas who was on the search for some fluorescent lights and panel heaters for a property project. When he became aware of such items at Bishopspark he also found there was other material Ryman was willing to donate. With the help of the Student Volunteer Army and other volunteers, to save on labour cost, all the whiteware was shifted out over the course of a weekend and put into storage, for eventual shop sale.
The opportunity shops are usually very busy all year round. Staff say that on a routinely busy day they will get 400-500 visitors to the central shop in Hereford St. The central city location is a “master shop” for the mission’s other five locations in wider Christchurch.
Both Matt and Brendan said the people of Christchurch should be careful to donate goods that people could use again, otherwise the Mission was left spending a fortune on dumping fees. “We tend to live by the adage; would you sleep on it, would you sit on it. If you wouldn’t – we don’t want it, really. It actually ends up being quite expensive to get rid of,” Brendan said.
Ryman also regularly provides ready-to-eat dinners to the Mission’s Thorpe House detox centre, in central Christchurch. The packaged meals have been going down a treat at the alcohol and drug detox unit. Matt said Ryman had been consistent supporters of the Mission, which valued the relationship. “Ryman have been financial supporters through a number of other campaigns and events we’ve had.”
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