At the Irish Charity Shops Association annual awards our Charity Shop Aurora won Shop Team of the year 2019. This new category is for the shop team who have shown exceptional commitment to each other to achieve great results for their shop. It is a recognition that every shop can only be successful if there is a great team behind it who are supportive of each other and of their local community.

Anna Gallagher of Volunteer Ireland judged this award said:

"The “Shop Team” category is a great addition. The level of support that these volunteers show to each other and their local communities is outstanding. All the nominated teams are clearly incredibly dedicated, they all deserve to be celebrated!"

In their nomination, CEO Brendan McCarthy wrote:

"I feel that our team should be considered for this award because the shop opened in July 2018 and in that time they have exceeded our expectations not only in the sales in the shop but the social benefit to the community.

We had 3 main reasons for opening the shop: to raise funds to support the work of the Housing Association, to raise the profile of the organisation and probably the most important reason for us was to give those affected by Mental Health issues an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a supported environment.

Some of the volunteers have said that the place has “saved their lives” and “given their life meaning”. The staff have become friends and very much like one big family looking out for each other and supporting each other in times that are hard."

Pictured here are Mark Sweeney, Chair ICSA, Catherine Barrett (Shop Volunteer)and Helen O'Callaghan (Shop Manager) and Brendan McCarthy, CEO of the charity.