A local hospice charity will be reopening all its shops next week following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown – but will not be accepting donations for the first week of opening to get used to the new way of working.
All 23 Havens Hospices shops across Essex will open from Monday 15th June and the charity has put in place additional safety measures which adhere to the guidance provided by the Government and Public Health England.
Havens Hospices has seen a significant drop in funding due to the cancellation of a number of fundraising events and the closing of all its shops and is looking forward to reopening so they can continue to raise vital income for their essential hospice care across Essex.
Shop managers and their staff have been working tirelessly to get all the shops ready for re-opening, putting enhanced health and safety and social distancing measures to protect staff, volunteers and customers, ensuring a safe shopping environment.
To allow staff and volunteers to process and manage their current donations, donated before the lockdown, the charity will not be accepting new donations for the first week of opening, between 15th June and 21st June.
Shops will now be open during the revised opening times of Monday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm. These altered times will allow staff to clean the shop thoroughly before opening. Staff will also be cleaning throughout the day which will include regularly disinfecting high touchpoints such as door handles and handrails.
All employees have been trained appropriately and the shops are asking customers to follow the two-metre apart social distancing guidelines in their shops – floor markers have been put in place to assist with this. Hand sanitiser stations will be provided in each shop for customers to use.
There will be a reduced number of customers allowed in the stores at any one time so may be asked to queue outside. The shops have temporarily closed fitting rooms and will only be accepting contactless and card payments.
For customers’ peace of mind, all items donated will be ‘quarantined’ for the suggested 72 hours and cleaned before being made available for purchase in the shops.
Trevor Johnson, Director of Income Generation said:
“We are thrilled that we can finally open our shops to our customers so we can continue raising money for our hospice care.
“Havens Hospices needs your support more than ever in our shops after being closed for nearly three months– every purchase made helps us provide our essential palliative and supportive care to people with complex or incurable conditions during these difficult times.
“We ask the public to please follow the new guidelines in our shops for their own safety and for the safety of our staff and volunteers.
“Thank you so much to our supporters and customers for keeping aside their donations for us during these difficult times and we will be gratefully accepting these from Monday 22nd June.
“With lots of people having clear-outs during lockdown we are expecting a huge influx of donations after 22nd June, so we ask our customers to kindly bear in mind that on some occasions, due to the limited storage space in our shops, we may not be able to accept some donations on the day.
“We would like to thank our customers for their support and cooperation in advanced and we can’t wait to say a socially-distanced ‘hello’ to you soon!”
To follow the latest updates on the charity’s shops reopening, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/charityshops or follow @havenshospices and @havensevents on Facebook and @havenshopsicesshops on Instagram.