CHARITY shops across Coventry and Warwickshire are beginning to reopen.
Charities across the county say they have lost out on thousands of pounds of donations since their stores were forced to close when lockdown began.
But some are gradually beginning to open with health and safety measures in place.
This includes limiting the number of customers to ensure social distancing can be maintained, holding donations for 72 hours, regular cleaning, screens at till points, encouraging contactless payment and providing personal protective equipment for staff and volunteers.
Myton Hospice is reopening some of its charity shops on Tuesday (June 16).
The shop on Brook Street in Warwick will be the first to open, followed by the store on Warwick Road in Kenilworth on Wednesday.
They will be open Tuesday to Saturday and Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
Shops in Coventry on Quinton Parade in Cheylesmore, Barker Butts Lane in Coundon, and Alcester Road in Stratford will reopen on Tuesday June 23.
The shops will not be able to accept donations but hope to resume a collection service in July and reopen shops in Radford in Coventry and Rugby town centre as donation stations by the end of June.
Director of income generation Charlotte Ingram said: “We are excited to be able to reopen some of our shops, and begin raising vital funds in this way again so we can continue to provide our services free of charge for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire living with terminal illnesses, and their families.
“Our retail team have been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and customers, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we all get used to the ‘new normal’ as our shops begin to reopen.
“With our shops aiming to bring in over £2 million of the £9.2 million we need to raise each year, the loss of retail income has been felt keenly over the last three months.”
Scope in Kenilworth will also reopen its doors on Monday (June 15). The charity says it has potentially lost £32,000 of income from April 1 to June 11.
Shop manager Amanda Mann said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to welcome our wonderful community through our doors and we’re all looking forward to seeing our customers once more.
“We’ve put stringent safety procedures in place to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues. I am sure this will seem rather strange for many people to begin with and I hope customers will bear with us during this period.
“You can still find fabulous bargains and hidden treasure in our shop. If people wish to donate, they can either bring it along to our shop in Talisman Square and put it in the purple wheelie bin outside. Or they can see if there will be a driver in their area, by going onto the Scope website.”
Visit mytonhospice.org/shops to find out more about Myton Hospice charity shops.
Visit www.scope.org.uk for more information about Scope.