St Richard’s Hospice will reopen three of its charity shops in the county in the week starting Monday, 15th June with another eight throwing open their doors by the end of the month.
The charity’s shops at St Swithin’s Street, Worcester and Malvern Link Store will re-open on Monday, 15th June and Malvern Link book shop on Tuesday, 16th June and will welcome socially distanced customers again in line with guidance from the government.
However, the charity shops will not be accepting donations until later in the month when designated stores in Pershore, Evesham and Malvern Link, as well as it’s Warehouse in Leigh Sinton will be open at set times. To meet infection control guidelines, donors will be asked to place items directly into a container or hospice van where they can remain for 72 hours before handling.
Customers and donors can keep up to date on shop opening and donation times on the hospice website here and on social media.
Shops Director Dan Corns said, “We are delighted to be re-opening the first of our shops shortly and to welcome back our customers and donors. We will be following the government’s COVID-19 secure guidelines to make sure that customers, staff and volunteers feel safe while they shop and work.”
“We really appreciate the fact that many supporters will have taken the opportunity during lockdown to clear out their wardrobes and homes and will have put aside items ready to donate when they can.
“But the fact that items must be isolated for 72 hours before they can be sorted by staff and volunteers, plus the potential that many of our volunteers may not be available to process them means we will not be able to accept donations straight away.”
Mr Corns also explained the shops’ teams will ask people to be ‘thoughtful’ about what they donate, and only give good quality, re-saleable items to avoid stores being overwhelmed.
“We are extremely grateful to donors and rely on their generosity to help us raise funds to support the care of St Richard’s Hospice for patients and their loved ones in our community.
“Previously, if items have not been of a quality that we would offer on sale in our shops then we’ve been able to recycle them through a variety of outlets. Now these markets – sometimes known as rag markets – have collapsed, leaving us with paying the costs of disposing of unsaleable clothes and other items. This is an issue right across the charity retail sector. “
Mr Corns said that in 2019/20 more than 620,000 items of clothing and shoes were donated to the hospice’s charity shops in an unsaleable condition such as being ripped or heavily stained.
“We’re asking people to be thoughtful with the goods they donate, and ask themselves ‘would I buy this?’ to ensure we don’t end up having to pay to dispose of unsaleable items. This will help maximise the amount of money the shops give to support St Richard’s Hospice care each year. “ Watch the video below to find out more.
In 2019/20, sales of quality items in the shops helped to raise £731,547 net for St Richard’s Hospice.
St Richard’s plans to have all 19 of its charity shops in Worcestershire open by the end of July.
St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.
Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,400 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.
St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS.