St Giles Hospice will take another step towards normal services following the Coronavirus crisis next week by re-opening eight more of its shops.
The move follows the successful re-opening of 11 St Giles shops across the region in accordance with Government guidelines last month. The shops will be opening on reduced hours between 10am-4pm, Monday to Saturday, phased during the week beginning Monday, 20th July.
Lynwen Truesdale, Head of Retail at St Giles Hospice, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be re-opening these further St Giles Hospice shops and welcoming back our loyal customers – we’ve missed them as much as they’ve missed us!
“This is the second phase of our re-opening, and by the end of the week we will have 19 of our shops back up and running to help fund the vital services we offer to local people and their families living with a terminal illness.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our customers who have returned so far as we need their support more than ever at the moment. And the great thing is that our much-valued supporters keep coming back, as you never know what you will find in our shop with the stock changing daily.”
Over the week beginning 20th July, there will be a phased re-opening of the following shops; Swadlincote, Mere Green bookshop, Tamworth Street store in Lichfield and the Burton bookshop.
This will be followed by Walmley, Ashby-de-la-Zouch bookshop, the Lichfield bookshop and the Darlaston shop. Shoppers should check the hospice website for up-to-date opening times.
Further shops will re-open only when they can operate safely following the Government’s latest Covid-19 guidelines. Updates on opening will be posted on social media and are available along with details of the safety measures we have introduced at www.stgileshospice.com/shops.
Only a limited number of customers will be allowed into shops at any one time and shoppers will be encouraged to pay by card where possible. Intensive cleaning programmes will be in place and there will be hand sanitiser stations for customers at shop entrances.
Lynwen added: “We’ve created a really safe shopping environment with screens at our counters, and clear distancing signage in all stores, as the safety of all customers and staff is paramount as we re-open.”
All donated items will be stored for 72 hours before being processed, and although changing rooms will not be open there is a full refund policy on anything that needs to be brought back, with returned items being quarantined for a further 72 hours.
Because of the very limited space available for storage at the Mere Green and Lichfield bookshops and Lichfield Tamworth Street shop, unfortunately they will not be able to accept donations.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has already donated goods to us since our first shops re-opened – we’ve had some fantastic stock over the last few weeks,” said Lynwen. “And because we’ve had to quarantine donated goods for 72 hours before we can put them out on the shelves, donors have been very patient. This does mean that we are very limited in the space we have to accept donations, so we’d advise people to call ahead to avoid an unnecessary journey.”
St Giles relies heavily upon volunteers to help run its shops, and if you would like to help you can contact your local shop or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As only around a third of its funding comes from Government, St Giles Hospice relies upon donations and fundraising to raise the £850,000 it needs each month to fund its care services. In April, the hospice launched ‘Katie’s Appeal’, the charity’s urgent response to the coronavirus crisis.