Bargain hunters in Oswestry are being promised a warm welcome when a Shropshire charity reopens its second shop this week.
Severn Hospice was forced to close all 28 of its community shops when the COVID-19 pandemic led to nationwide lockdown in March.
The shops generate more than £1 million each year for the charity, which provides care to people living with incurable illness in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales.
Severn Hospice estimates that the pandemic has caused it to lose £100,000 a week in fundraising ability because shops were forced to close, events were cancelled, and its supporters and volunteers were confined to their homes.
But following the relaxation of the government’s restrictions on non-essential businesses, its shop on English Walls, will reopen on Friday .
It is the second of its community shops to reopen – the first to do so was in Whitchurch last month.
Emily Jones, community shop manager said she was looking forward to the reopening.
“We can’t wait to see our old and new customers come through the doors of our shop in Oswestry when we reopen,” she said. “We really have missed them – they really make a difference.
“We’ve made sure the shop is totally COVID-19 secure.
“There will be till screens, hand sanitizers and markings on the floor to make sure that everyone maintains social distancing and there will also be limits on the number of people allowed in the shop at any one time. We want everyone to feel safe when they visit our shops.”
Supporters have been so generous with their stock donations since the hospice was able to begin receiving them again, the charity has had to introduce an ‘appointments only’ system for people dropping off their bags.
The hotline is open from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, and allocates time slots for people to drop off their donations.
Anyone wanting to donate quality clothes, toys, books and homeware should call 01743 216633.
The Oswestry shop will be open Monday to Saturday 10am-3pm.