Charity shops in Banbury reopen next week looking forward to making up financial losses of the Covid lockdowns
Most of Banbury's charity shops are in the process of deep cleaning prior to reopening their doors to the shopping public next week.
These popular fundraising outlets have lost many thousands of pounds in income as a result of enforced closure during the country's Covid lockdowns.
But all are promising a big welcome back as shoppers return to Banbury's town centre from next Monday, April 12.
Katharine House Hospice shops in Brackley, Bicester, Chipping Norton and Shipston on Stour reopen on Monday morning while the Banbury and Moreton in Marsh stores open again for business on Tuesday, April 13.
Barnardos in Parsons Street (01295 277772) is preparing for opening on Monday morning and staff have been working hard this week to prepare displays at Helen and Douglas House, Church Lane (01295 275541) and Scope in Banbury High Street (01295 276540), ready to begin trading again on the same day.
The Salvation Army Superstore, Bridge Street (01295 575054) and its donation centre at Swan Close (01295 575050) for furniture, bric a brac and clothing will also be open on Monday. A collection service is available.
The Cancer Research shop in Parsons Street (01295 270412) is also set for a Monday re-start and Age UK in Parsons Street (01295 273232) will be open from 9am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday from that day.
British Heart Foundation's standard store on the High Street (01295 275823) and furniture and electrical shop in Broad Street (01295 641520) both look forward to seeing customers on April 12.
Staff have also been busy preparing shelves and rails at Scope's shop in the High Street. Manager Sarah Andrews said: "The whole shop has been cleaned; we've got a lot of spring lines out, it's clean, sanitised and colourful.
"The lockdowns have meant our charity has lost roughly £10m and for our store in Banbury it's approximately £5,000 a month.
"We hope to start putting that right from Monday in a safe environment. We have sanitising stations at the door and at the till and customers are asked to wear facemasks. Staff will sanitise frequently. We will be sanitising clothes hangers frequently.
"Supporters are welcome to bring in their donations. We've got a front door on High Street and the side door in Market Square. People can drop stuff near the till and leave. We welcome customers and donations from 9am -5pm, Monday - Saturday and on Sunday from 10am-4pm."
Jo Hewitt, press officer for Barnardos in Parsons Street said: "We’re very much looking forward to welcoming all our customers back in to the store."
Molly Davies at Katharine House Hospice said donations were most welcome.
"Donating quality unwanted items to our shops is a great way to help us raise money so we can carry on looking after people in our community. Donations to our shops raise over £250,000 every year for the hospice."
Those wishing to donate to Katharine House should be aware that due to new guidelines around donations and for general health and safety at the hospice, donations cannot be made at the hospice itself. More detail is available on the KHH website- https://www.khh.org.uk/retail Ms Davies said: "To save any disappointment, it's advisable to call ahead first to make sure we have the space available. We advise this because the space is limited in each shop. So although we’ve given a window of 11.00am–3.00pm for donations, it’s a case of when we’re full, we’re full and we will unfortunately have to refuse any donations on the grounds of health and safety when we reach that point.
"So please call ahead first or drop your donations off earlier rather than later on the days stated. For full opening times and contact details, please see our shops page."
Charity shops gratefully receive clothing, bric a brac, linens, CDs and DVDs and books. To donate more unusual or larger items, contact the store for advice.