Local hospice set for phased reopening of its charity shops – starting next week

Following the Government’s announcement that more shops are permitted to open as lockdown restrictions ease, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has announced that it will reopen a limited number of its shops from Tuesday 7 July.

The local charity will be reopening the doors to three of its shops, helping to raise vital funds for its care and support.

The three stores it will be reopening include its King Norton Shop based on The Green, its Selly Oak shop based on Heeley Road, and its Dovehouse shop based on Warwick Road.

The Hospice temporarily closed all 17 of its shops just before lockdown measures were put in place, to help protect the safety and wellbeing of its staff, volunteers and the general public. Whilst this was the right decision to take, it has had a significant impact on the charity’s fundraising.

Birmingham St Mary’s needs to raise 64 per cent of its funding from voluntary donations – that’s over £15,000 every day which needs to be fundraised. The shops are a crucial source of income for the charity and so restrictions have had a detrimental effect on its fundraising activities.

Despite losing funds, the Hospice is continuing to care for local people and their loved ones who are living with life-limiting illness – some of whom have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

By reopening a small number of its stores from Tuesday 7 July, the Hospice is hoping to raise much-needed funds so that it can continue to care for people during these uncertain times.

The Hospice will be making every effort to ensure its shops are safe for customers, staff and volunteers by putting special measures in place. These include:

  • Limiting the number of people in the shop at any one time
  • Limiting customers time in the shop to five to ten minutes
  • Providing hand sanitiser
  • Closing the fitting rooms
  • Encouraging contactless payments wherever possible
  • Asking shoppers to respect social distancing
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces
  • Providing staff and volunteers with the relevant PPE

When the Hospice is assured it can keep staff, volunteers, and customers safe with these new measures, it will then start to reopen more of its shops across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.

The Hospice is already accepting people’s pre-loved goods via its new ‘contactless’ donation station in Cotteridge (15 Pershore Road South, B30 3EE), open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. The charity’s former furniture shop has been turned into a dedicated donation station, where donors can drop off goods from their car via the free car park outside the shop.

The charity will be accepting donations at its Kings Norton, Selly Oak and Dovehouse stores but only on Mondays and Wednesdays, with other days being reserved for shoppers only. This will enable staff to keep donations separate from displayed goods, helping to reduce the risk of transmission.

Jonathan Varley, head of retail at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “We’re delighted to start reopening some of our shops from Tuesday 7 July, helping to raise vital funds for the Hospice during these uncertain times.

“Our number one priority is that we offer a safe shopping environment for our customers, staff and volunteers and so we’ve been working tirelessly to prepare our shops. Some of our measures may feel strange at first – such as limiting the number of shoppers at any one time – but I assure you this is to protect everyone’s safety and reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading.

“We also know that a lot of people have spent their time at home spring cleaning and getting rid of their pre-loved goods – and we’d be very grateful if you choose to donate them to the Hospice. If you are planning on making a donation to our shops, we would advise that you drop them off at our furniture shop in Cotteridge, which is now a dedicated donation station. Alternatively, we suggest you give your nearest Hospice shop a call before making your donation, to check that they are open and able to accept it.”

Birmingham St Mary’s frontline staff are currently providing round-the-clock care at its Inpatient Unit, as well as offering critical support in people’s homes. Its expert team of doctors, nurses, bereavement counsellors and more are also offering digital consultations and phone support to patients and their loved ones during this crisis.

To find out more about the Hospice’s shops – including their location, opening times and which days they are accepting donations on – please click here.