St Richard’s Hospice has announced the temporary closure of its 19 shops and warehouse in Worcestershire to protect staff, volunteers, donors and customers from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Shops and Commercial Director Dan Corns said, “We take this decision with a heavy heart but it’s absolutely the right action to take for the safety of our staff, volunteers, donors and customers.”
He added, “The temporary closure is in line with the latest government action to stop the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible. We are also extremely aware of our responsibilities to many of our volunteers who are elderly and more vulnerable to the impact of the virus and to our wider community.”
“We have the most fantastic support from the people of Worcestershire and we very much look forward to welcoming them back when the government advises it is safe to open our doors once again. We thank them all for their patience and understanding at this difficult time.”
The charity has asked people not to leave donations outside its shops. They have also suspended all furniture and other donation collections for the time being.
St Richard’s Hospice shops contributed over £761,000 after costs in this financial year so far towards the free care and support St Richard’s offers to patients and families.
Chief Executive June Patel said, “Closing the shops temporarily is the right decision but will be a major blow to our fundraising to help us continue to care. We are keeping a close eye on government announcements of any assistance in the form of grant funding and loans and rents and rate relief.”
Mrs Patel added, “In these uncertain times, we are aiming to maintain our caring services – within NHS guidelines – to ensure those who need our support can continue to access it. This means different ways of working in some areas, such as over the phone or online support, for example video calls. We know it’s a difficult time for everyone, but will be grateful to anyone who is able to support us by making a donation to help us continue to care by visiting www.strichards.org.uk/donate/. Thank you.”