Coronavirus: Charity shops which fund life-saving service to close - The Leamington Observer

Coronavirus: Charity shops which fund life-saving service to close

Leamington Editorial 20th Mar, 2020 Updated: 20th Mar, 2020   0

CHARITY shops which help to fund the county’s life-saving team of flying doctors are to close their doors in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Air Ambulance will temporarily close its Warwickshire stores – which include branches in Rugby, Warwick, Stratford and Shipston-On-Stour – on Sunday (March 22).

The stores raised over £930,000 for the charity in 2018.

The charity said the decision was made in line with government advice to prevent the virus spreading among customers, volunteers and staff.

CEO Andy Williamson said: “These are unprecedented times and this decision hasn’t been taken lightly, but as an organisation we must do the right thing by the communities in which we serve, live and work.

“We would like to thank all of our supporters for their co-operation and understanding in these difficult times and for continuing to support our charity.”

The charity will also temporarily suspended its door-to-door lottery canvassing and reuse collections.

The stores and door-to-door services will close for an initial two-week period, to be reviewed in line with future government advice.

The charity asked the public not to leave donations outside the shops while they are closed. A spokesperson said: “If people are able to keep hold of items until the stores reopen it would be much appreciated and they will help to keep the lifesaving service operational in the future.”

Clothing banks are still in use, and the charity will try to reach as many as possible in the coming weeks. Visit to find your nearest bank.

The Air Ambulance – which will reach its 40,000th flight milestone this spring – receives no government funding, with each £1,700 mission funded by donations. Visit for more information.


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