In pictures: smiles and celebrations as Vincent's Portadown marks 25 years

Vincent’s on Portadown’s Garvaghy Road has celebrated 25 years serving the local community with an event attended by SVP members who founded the shop, lots of young shoppers from Ashgrove Playgroup, and Nora Lavery who, at 98 years young, is the shop’s longest supporting customer.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Cllr Sorcha McGeown, joined SVP members from throughout the Armagh and Craigavon area, and Vincent’s staff and volunteers, to congratulate everyone who has been involved in making the shop the success it is today from its humble beginnings 25 years ago.

Vincent’s Portadown has evolved into a cornerstone of support, providing essential resources, fostering connections, and embodying the spirit of generosity that defines the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

One Vincent’s volunteer, Sheila Henderson, has been volunteering in the shop for 10 years. She says she is proud to volunteer a couple of days a week and she became a volunteer in honour of her mum, Nan Heaney, who volunteered from the shop opened, until she sadly passed away nine years ago.

“Mummy loved the whole community and volunteered four days a week since the shop opened. I volunteer two mornings a week and I love to meet the regulars who call in for a chat, to bag a bargain or meet new friends. I appreciate all the people who kindly donate to the shop as we couldn’t do without the generous donations.”

Bernie McNeice, SVP Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Area president, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many SVP members at today’s celebration who enabled this great shop to open 25 years ago, closely followed by the furniture store a couple of years later.

"I would like to recognise the members of the local SVP St Patrick’s Conference who were empowered to have their own SVP shop and decided to give it a try. They opened their own Vincent’s by emptying out their wardrobes and the local community lent their support by donating clothes, bric-a-brac, books and toys.

"Both shops at the Mayfair Business Centre have gone from strength to strength and stood the test of time. There is a lovely sense of collaboration among the team and other SVP Conference members who provided invaluable guidance in the early days.

"I would like to pay tribute to the staff and volunteers for their dedication and enthusiasm, fuelling the charity’s mission and touching lives with their boundless community spirit. They are central to the shop’s success.”

Eileen McKenna, SVP St Patrick’s Conference president, added: “We want to thank all our customers who have supported us for the last 25 years. We are looking forward to the next 25 years of continuing to provide a community hub with compassion for the people of Portadown in these changing times.”

SVP members and Vincent’s Portadown staff and volunteers are grateful to all those who came out to enjoy the celebrations and are thankful for all the support they have received from volunteers who have passed away but who will always be remembered for their contribution in making the shop what it is today. To become a member of SVP, for information about volunteering at Vincent’s or to seek help from SVP, please visit www.svp.ie.

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