The Fernlea Shop of Opportunities was established in 2015, and plays a vital role for both Fernlea and the local community.
Many of Fernlea's clients are under 65, and yet Fernlea receives no funding to provide respite services for this group of people. The shop's primary purpose is therefore to fundraise, with all profits going to help us provide services to people under 65 who face a life limiting illness.
But our shop was always intended to be so much more than just a shop - it is a community hub.
People are welcome to drop in - there is no need to buy anything, and if you are feeling a bit lonely or need a break, why not make a cup of tea or coffee in our kitchen (there is even cake or biscuits sometimes!), read a book or magazine in our library, or take some time out sitting in our garden.
The shop has developed a 'community garden', with the bulk of the produce going to prepare nutritious meals for our day respite guests. The garden is an on-going project and will include fruit trees and seed propagation hot house in the future.
It is also a 'Food is Free' outlet, and a site for U3A to operate their market stalls and collaboration with the Grow It Bake It Make It market held on the 1st Sunday of every month.
The shop operates as the local self-serve visitor centre, with lots of information on local attractions. The house where the shop is located was the original Emerald Police Station, and is stop number 11 on the Emerald Heritage Walk trail. Check out our local district website for visitor and local information.
The Fernlea Shop of Opportunities is well supported through community donations and local business support for our projects, and is also committed to educating about the benefits of recycling through events we participate in and run.
The shop is run by volunteers who are managed by a Fernlea staff member. It opens six days a week, Monday-Friday from 9am to 4.30pm and Saturdays from 9am to 2.30pm. We also open on some Sundays for special events.