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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity shops to reopen


Sense Scotland is looking forward to its retail operations restarting, having lost out on £1m as a result of Covid-19

A Scottish charity is set to start reopening its stores next week.

Sense Scotland is expecting a surge in donations – and a rush to their doors – when they reopen some of their charity shops on Monday 6 July.

Since lockdown, the disability charity has had a number of requests to take donations and questions about re-opening.

Head of retail Sue Blair said: “When the coronavirus pandemic unfolded it became clear that plans we had to maximise income from shops this year were not going to happen, and that a significant loss of income was on the cards.

“Together with the cancellation of fundraising events we stand to lose around £1 million, money which would have gone to helping support disabled people live meaningful and independent lives. What has been encouraging however, is the level of interest from customers about when we are re-opening. When we’ve been in a shop carrying out maintenance there’s always someone knocking the window or popping their head in to ask when we’ll be back.”

The charity was already taking steps to have some shops ready when the Scottish Government gave the green light to go ahead. Sense will open seven shops initially - in Bathgate, Castlemilk, Parkhead, Partick, Peebles, Perth, and St Andrews - with a phased return of the others.

With safety the paramount consideration, appropriate measures will be in place including social distancing markers, till shields, one-way systems and easy availability of hand sanitiser. Donations will be subject to a 72-hour quarantine to minimise risk. Clothes will be steam cleaned and furniture cleaned and checked to Revolve quality mark standards. Outstanding deliveries and collection of furniture will be prioritised before new items can be processed.

Blair added: “Whilst the shops have been closed we’ve been planning how to re-open safely and have looked at other ways of raising income, including the option to buy on eBay, which will be up and running soon.”

Last year the charity raised £1 million through shop sales, income which supports the charity’s vision of helping disabled people live meaningful and independent lives.



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