Nigel Chadwick, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Charity shops in Salford are preparing to reopen as post-lockdown plans begin to take shape. From December 3rd, these shops will be allowed to reopen and restart accepting item donations.

Charity shops offer a sense of community to elderly residents in the area. However, the pandemic has threatened to destroy these types of communities, and the charity shops that help maintain them.

Mother of Two, Caroline Holt from Walkden, said: “It’s just one of those things, there’s always been room for charity shops on the high street, the way I see it there always will.

“My mum loves going down.

“Even if she doesn’t buy anything, at least it’s got her out of the house.”

 

 

Charity workers feel the impact

Paula Taylor, of The Extra Care Charity Shop in Irlam, is preparing to reopen as lockdown comes to an end. She spoke of the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry.

”I’ve noticed a lot of regulars shielding, it’s impacted the amount of take-ins we’ve received,

”This time of year is where retail makes most of its money.”

Despite lockdown, Paula said the shop had received ‘more (money) donations than ever’ and thanked her customers for their ongoing support, even during these tough times.

 

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Age UK reports that there are ‘1.4m chronically lonely older people in England‘. A statistic that threatens to grow in these harsh restrictions.

As Paula states;

”We are very much a community shop.”

”People love to come in, even for a chat. We’re on first name basis with a few and they will say things like ‘you’re the first person I’ve spoken to today’, it’s sad.”

The importance of charity shops must not be underestimated at a time where community is everything.

As the shops prepare to reopen next week post lockdown, it still remains to be seen if customers feel safe enough to return.

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