Hope House Children’s Hospices will be reopening four of its fifteen shops next week, as lock down restrictions on the retail sector are relaxed in England.

The Shrewsbury store on the Lancaster Retail Park, and the stores in Oswestry, Church Stretton and Chester will all open their doors on Tuesday June 16th.

Opening hours for the foreseeable future will be 10am until 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and the Shrewsbury store, which has until now been a furniture shop, will become a general store.

Head of Retail Angela Whelan explained that new working practices were being introduced to keep customers and staff safe, including social distancing rules, hand sanitising stations at shop entrances and contactless payment.

Covid-free stock

“All stock currently for sale has been in the stores since before lock down so it completely Covid free, while new donations are being isolated for 72 hours before sorting, in line with current guidelines,” she added.

“We have thought carefully about how we can open our stores and keep our staff and customers safe, and we have identified these four stores as good starting points.

“At the moment we are not asking our volunteers to return until we are comfortable it is safe for them to do so within social distancing guidelines.

“In Wales we are waiting for the next announcement from the Wales Assembly Government regarding reopening so for further news of store openings in England and Wales please keep an eye on our website and social media pages.”

Donating stock

Donations of stock will currently only be received at the four open stores during opening hours, and Angela is asking people to sort carefully through anything they wish to donate.

“We are asking our supporters to only bring us items that they themselves would like to buy. In these times it will cost us money to have unsaleable items taken away so we are really keen to receive only good quality saleable clothes, accessories, homeware and bric-a-brac,” she explained.

“We would also ask people not to leave donations outside our shops where they are not yet open. Again, it will cost us to have them removed and that is something we are keen to avoid.”

More details about what stock donations will be welcomed can be found here.