Cancer Research UK’s charity shops will start to reopen to the public from 29 June in England, and 6 July in Northern Ireland, with new safety measures in place to protect staff, volunteers, customers and donors.
This follows the difficult decision to close all 600 stores back in March due to COVID-19.
A phased reopening of our 600 shops will begin weeks after non-essential retailers in England and Ireland were told they could open their doors, to ensure staff and volunteers will have enough time to get comfortable with the new health and safety procedures.
Due to different lockdown policies in each UK nation, timescales for shops reopening in Scotland and Wales will vary.
Operating initially on a reduced hours policy, stores will also begin to welcome donations from the public. But people are kindly asked to not leave items outside shops while they are closed, as they could become damaged, stolen or pose a hazard.
A phased reopening
The decision to reopen from 29 June has been taken after thorough consideration of current government health and safety guidance, and with the wellbeing of customers, staff and volunteers front of mind.
Opening hours will vary from shop-to-shop depending on staff and volunteer availability, so shoppers are encouraged to keep an eye out for details from their local stores.
Among the key measures to be put in place across all stores are designated quarantine areas for newly donated items. Before being put on sale, items will be left for 72 hours before staff and customers can safely handle them.
All Cancer Research UK charity shops will also operate with social distancing measures in place, with maximum shopper numbers determined by store size and product bays removed to allow more space in store. Fitting rooms will be closed until further notice.
Cough guards will be in place, and we will encourage contactless payments over cash.
Meanwhile, hand sanitiser will be stationed at the door of every shop, with gloves, face coverings and continual hand washing advice provided for staff and volunteers. We will also be regularly disinfecting surfaces.
Funding life-saving research
Last year alone, Cancer Research UK’s chain of charity shops contributed over £26 million towards beating cancer, with an incredible £2.4 million taken in the final fortnight of trading before lockdown.
As director of trading Julie Byard points out: “We rely on the generosity of the public to help fund our life-saving research, so we’re grateful for all donations and to everyone who volunteers and shops with us.”
“There will be different opening dates across the UK, so we encourage everyone to keep an eye out for their local shop’s reopening date.”