New YMCA Op shop in Ipswich. Christine Fraser, Amy Lyngstad, raiana Habibi and Kyla Bijoux.
New YMCA Op shop in Ipswich. Christine Fraser, Amy Lyngstad, raiana Habibi and Kyla Bijoux. Cordell Richardson

SNEAK PEAK: Inside Ipswich's first YMCA Op Shop

INSIDE the former chapel at Villa Maria on Limestone St you will find racks of clothes and shelves filled with books, toys, glassware, homewares and knick-knacks.

Staff and volunteers from the YMCA have been busy filling the chapel in preparation for its new op shop, which will open its doors on Wednesday, August28.

Kyla Bijoux, who has worked for the YMCA for the past 18 months, will oversee the store.

"When I went to my interview with the YMCA I asked if they wanted to open up more shops, because that's what I do," she said.

"I just love when we openup new places for customers to come and enjoy.

"What's great about thisparticular store is thatit's not your typical op shop. It's in an old chapel and the changing rooms arethe old confessional boxes.

"It's such a beautiful space here."


On the hangers, shoppers will be able to find a wide range of pre-loved clothing, many of which have been donated by Ipswich residents.

"All of the donations herehave come from the local community," Ms Bijoux said.

"We have some beautiful items here in store. We have some beautiful dresses that I know retail for more than $100 but we are selling them for $12.50."

For every dollar spent in store, that money is put straight back into the local community through the YMCA's School Breakfast Program.

"The School Breakfast Program is in 115 schools in Southeast Queensland," MsBijoux said.

"One dollar can provide breakfast for three children.

"What I love about the program is schools have to sign up for a minimum of three days, so the kids know they can go to school and eat something healthy for breakfast."

The store will have two supervisors and up to 15 volunteers, which are mainly made up of young people who are completing a Certificate II in retail.

"We have a school for disengaged youth in Bundamba and the YMCA purchased this building so we can open up another secondary school for kids in Years 8-12 who have disengaged from school," MsBijoux said.

"We love working with the kids.

"Construction on the school is expected to start at the end of next year."

The store will initially be open every Monday to Saturday from 9am-4pm but Ms Bijoux hopes to extend to seven-day trading in the future.

The YMCA Op Shop is located at 98 Limestone St, Ipswich.