Joey's Jumbles charity shop faces closure after 39 years providing support to communities in need

END OF AN ERA: Closure of Joey's Jumbles will leave a gap for many locals, including volunteers Gay Fogden (rear), Veronica White, Pat Coyle and Faye Bessell. Photo: Leah Szanto
END OF AN ERA: Closure of Joey's Jumbles will leave a gap for many locals, including volunteers Gay Fogden (rear), Veronica White, Pat Coyle and Faye Bessell. Photo: Leah Szanto

Joey's Jumbles charity store is another casualty of the current real estate pinch on the Far South Coast, with an enormous rent increase being blamed for the impending closure.

Since 1982, the opportunity shop has provided support to Eden and its surrounding communities, as well as some overseas communities.

Founder Jenny Reynolds had three children at St Joseph's School and recognised a number of families in the community needed assistance to provide school uniforms.

When Lumen Christi Catholic School and St Joseph's amalgamated, the proceeds from the store were then split between Lumen Christi and Mary McKillop church.

Veronica White took on the management of the charity shop in 2012 and said the "almighty dollar" was responsible for the steep hike in rent leading to the closure.

A significant hike in rent has made it untenable for the charity store to remain open. Volunteers Pat Coyle and Veronica White said it was sad news. Photo: Leah Szanto

A significant hike in rent has made it untenable for the charity store to remain open. Volunteers Pat Coyle and Veronica White said it was sad news. Photo: Leah Szanto

According to Veronica, the owner of the shop lives in Greece and has increased the rent by more than two and a half times the current monthly rate.

Tucked away in Angela's Arcade off the main street, the shop is currently run by eight local women, all in a volunteer capacity.

"It's very sad really, it's the end of an era," Veronica said.

"We're the cheapest op shop on the south coast, you can fill a bag for $5.

"A lot of people rely on us for social visits too, they like to pop in and have a chat and a joke, people get lonely.

"These ladies have been the best to work with," Veronica said.

Over the years the workers formed connections further afield, donating goods to communities in need in Tonga and Fiji.

"If people came in and couldn't afford what they needed we would just give it to them. It didn't matter if we only made $10 for the day, that's what charity is, that's what you do," Veronica said.

Volunteer Gay Fogden said the shop would be missed terribly.

"We've been everywhere trying to find a cheaper place, most tenants in Eden have had their rent put up," Gay said.

The women said local communities had been in great need for the last 18 months, with the bushfires, COVID and floods all impacting the local economy.

Remaining goods will be donated to other charity stores and people in need.

Remaining goods will be donated to other charity stores and people in need.

During the Black Summer fires, local charity stores donated all their available blankets and other bedding to the evacuation centre set up at the Fishermen's Club.

Volunteer Faye Bessell said without that support during the height of the bushfire disaster, "a lot of people would have been sleeping on the floor".

Joey's Jumbles will pass on some of their remaining goods to the Mallacoota op shop and to a Tongan community before it closes its doors permanently on July 31.

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