What does our charity shop reopening look like?

Following recent government guidance, St Barnabas Hospice has outlined plans to reopen their Lincolnshire charity shops.

St Barnabas Hospice is a Lincolnshire-based charity which has 26 shops across the county. Since 2012, they have sold an incredible 750,000 items with a turnover of £16,000,000 through these shops.

It was a huge blow for the charity when they had to close their shop doors because of the coronavirus outbreak, but they are now making plans for a gradual reopening to the public.

Their shops are due to remain closed until the end of June at the earliest as staff work hard to ensure staff, volunteers, donors and customers can work, volunteer, donate and shop safely. Once safe, there will be a phased reopening beginning with their popular Birchwood shop in Lincoln.

The house clearance and furniture collection service will also remain closed until the end of June.

Caroline Peach, Head of Retail at St Barnabas Hospice, said, “We are busy sourcing additional PPE and perfecting safe donating and shopping procedures. This means that in the short term at least, our shops will seem very different to before. Everyone has been so patient, and we appreciate how supportive our customers are.

“Before we can open any of the shops, we need to reintroduce item donations at our warehouse in Lincoln. Plans are currently underway for a ‘Book and Bring’ Donation Drive-Thru at the warehouse on Cardinal Close, which we are really excited about. People will be able to book a time slot to bring their donations and our car park has a fantastic one-way system so supporters can essentially use it like a drive-thru!”

The Hospice currently has reduced options for redistributing items that can’t be sold in their charity shops, which means they are asking their donors to focus on quality over quantity when selecting which items to donate. They will be releasing more details on this in due course.

Details for the Donation Drive-Thru are currently being finalised and St Barnabas will release more information as soon as possible.

Caroline added, “We would like to thank all our staff and volunteers for supporting each other whilst our shops have been closed and for being so understanding. We very much miss being at the heart of local communities in Lincolnshire and will be seeing our wonderful supporters again very soon. In the meantime, please stay safe everyone.”

The St Barnabas Retail team is busy making plans for the reopening, but are happy to answer urgent questions directed to shops@stbarnabashospice.co.uk

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