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Hospice to reopen three shops – with one selling everything for £2

By Dominic Robertson | Newport | Coronavirus | Published:

A charity which has seen its income hit by the coronavirus pandemic is to reopen three of its shops –with one being launched as a new concept store.

Severn Hospice is reopening three shops

Severn Hospice’s Newport and Mardol, Shrewsbury, stores will throw open their doors on Wednesday, while Wellington will become the charity’s first ‘flat price’ shop, with everything for sale at £2.

Volunteers and staff are this week putting the finishing touches to all three shops so they will be Covid-secure on opening, including customer limits, social distancing rules and quarantine arrangements for donated goods.

Ross Henderson, Severn Hospice head of retail, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back and are very excited about the totally new concept for Wellington.

“People have been so generous with their donations we have been literally overwhelmed by their kindness. Without all our shops to sell everything on and raise money for our caring services we’ve struggled to keep on top of what’s been coming in.

“The idea behind the Wellington shop is that it will turn over stock really quickly. It will only sell things you can wear – clothes, jewellery, shoes, accessories – and because everything’s £2 we don’t need to price up or label the stock as we go through the bags people have dropped off.

"It’s super-quick for us to process the donations, we’re still fundraising based on the volume of stock we can sell, and shoppers will be bagging real bargains; it’s a win for everyone."

All 28 of the hospice’s high street shops and its eBay store were forced to close when the country went into lockdown in March.

At the same time, the charity’s traditional fundraising activities were turned off one by one, meaning it has lost the ability to raise as much as £100,000 a week ever since.

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Ross said: “It was difficult closing all our shops but we willingly did it. We’re now focusing on making them safe to reopen as quickly as we can.

“Whitchurch was first last month, then Oswestry just last Friday, so the latest three will bring the total number of reopened shops to five, plus eBay.

“Safety measures in line with current government guidance have been put in place at all our reopened shops, including strict cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures, and we’ve taken all reasonable steps to ensure that two-metre social distancing is in place throughout.

“As well as keeping people safe they also work to make shopping with us a pleasant experience,” said Ross.

He added: “Everywhere that we’re open will accept donations of stock but we’re asking people to ring us for an appointment first rather than just turning up. This will help us so much as it means we can manage our supply without filling up our storage so quickly we can’t cope. It’s a great problem to have!” said Ross.

People can contact the central donation line on 01743 216 633, and the opening hours for all shops will be 10am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday.

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