The Vincent’s charity shop on Fair Street in Drogheda has won the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) Retail Olympics award for achieving the highest percentage increase in sales in the SVP North East & Midlands region.
The Retail Olympics was held over nine weeks at the end of 2021 on the theme "Sales through Service" with participating shops running a variety of customer engagement programmes during the period.
The Vincent’s shop in in the Laurence Centre was the second successful Drogheda shop in the annual SVP Retail Awards. It was the joint winner, with Vincent’s Ballyjamesduff, for the best window display in the region.
The window competition was held in May this year around the theme of ‘Creating a Sustainable Environment’.
Lisa McArdle Manager, Vincent’s Laurence Centre also received a Rendu award in the SVP Retail Development programme. The award was presented in recognition of her successful completion of the SVP Continuous Development Programme (CDP) which included the study of Customer Care; Team Satisfaction; Compliance, Business Development and Health & Safety in the Workplace.
The Award is named in honour of Blessed Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856) who was mentor to the first members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in France.
The awards presentation followed a one-day conference held in Derry on 20th June which discussed how retail can be community based, help reduce poverty and operate in a real sustainable manner.
There are over 234 SVP shops throughout Ireland, trading under the ‘Vincent's’ name. Vincent’s shops are a hugely important aspect of the service SVP provides to those who seek its assistance. Not only do the shops provide goods at affordable prices and help reconnect people, disconnected by poverty, they also provide an income source for the Society, which is directed back into the local communities.
Vincent’s are also committed to the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.by recycling 97% of donated items.
“This conference provided the opportunity for the volunteers and staff throughout our network to reflect on the importance of Vincent’s in our communities by providing a great customer service ethic which also generate financial support to their local Conferences, and at the same time taking visible action on sustainability,” says Dermot McGilloway, SVP National Retail Development manager.
“We believe that we have taken a lead role in our sector in meaningfully promoting the circular economy and are committed to tackling the twin problems of social deprivation on the one hand and the environmental damage caused by the excessive consumption of fast fashion on the other.
The conference had an international input with the keynote speaker Dave Barringer, CEO of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in the USA. Another speaker was Richard Moore, founder and CEO of Children in the Crossfire. Moore is a motivational speaker who was blinded at the age of 10 when hit by a rubber bullet. The mission of Children in the Crossfire is to work with others to tackle the injustices of poverty affecting children in Derry and overseas. One of his key messages was that ‘forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself’ Also speaking was Matthew Hopkinson, managing director of Didobi, a UK based specialist on data for business and state sectors including retail.