ADRA praise Helen's work

TOP TEAM: From left, ADRA Australia National Retail Manager Gordon Coutts, ADRA Whyalla Coordinator Helen Hiscock, ADRA SA Director Charlene Luzuk and Senior Leader Church Engagement Simon Lewis.

TOP TEAM: From left, ADRA Australia National Retail Manager Gordon Coutts, ADRA Whyalla Coordinator Helen Hiscock, ADRA SA Director Charlene Luzuk and Senior Leader Church Engagement Simon Lewis.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has 30 op shops across Australia, with some providing emergency relief, hosting a community pantry, or featuring a cafe.

But only one features all four of those services - the Whyalla ADRA Op Shop, which is run by dedicated Coordinator Helen Hiscock with the support of a group of volunteers.

This was outlined during a visit by ADRA SA Director Charlene Luzuk, ADRA Australia National Retail Manager Gordon Coutts and Senior Leader Church Engagement Simon Lewis to Whyalla on Wednesday.

Mr Coutts, who has regularly been in contact with Helen, said she had been doing a 'fabulous job'.

"She's had her struggles out here but she carries a lot of weight on her shoulders," he said.

SecondBite/Foodbank services are available at the Whyalla ADRA Op Shop, which provides free fruit and vegetables to locals who may be struggling to find their next meal.

Mr Lewis said it was a myth that those people in the community who receive the free food were 'dole bludgers' taking advantage of the service.

"Most of the people who get that (food) from us are in crisis," he said.

"It might be once or twice they use the service, but then they are out of the crisis. They then have an opportunity to give back and pay it forward to the community."

Helen herself had received a helping hand from a man who had used the service to receive bread.

"I had no volunteers around, so he and another man came out and did furniture deliveries with me," she said.

The local op-shop also provides opportunities for young people to gain experience in a work environment. Helen said a number of volunteers at the facility had gone on to secure employment.

"I had a brilliant worker who was only with me three weeks and now she has a job. We also got two guys jobs last week," she said.

 The ADRA Op Shop is located at 63 Hincks Avenue, Whyalla Norrie. To keep up with events hosted at the Op Shop, head to https://www.facebook.com/ADRA-Op-Shop-Whyalla-1453548044873091/.