Newlife has announced its flagship SuperStore and HomeStore will reopen to shoppers next week.
Social distancing measures will be in place at both stores, off Hemlock Way in Cannock, when they re-open on Monday 15th June to protect customers.
The charity’s stores have been temporarily closed since the UK went into lockdown in March but staff have been busy making sure they will be ready to welcome back shoppers safely next week.
Initially, the store size will be limited to allow safe operation and opening hours have been slightly reduced. All the facts and opening hours can be found online.
Mrs Sheila Brown OBE, co-founder and CEO of Newlife, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to open our stores and welcome back our loyal supporters. We have received lots of messages from people wanting to know when they will be able to shop with us again over recent weeks.
“Our number one priority is keeping our staff and customers safe so we are in the process of introducing a number of measures to ensure that happens. For the time being, we will be operating in a limited capacity with a reduced store size and will review this over coming weeks.
“It has been an incredibly difficult time for the charity as our stores are our main income stream so that pretty much ceased overnight when they closed, yet families needed us more than ever so we have continued operating our essential services that provide a lifeline for families with disabled and terminally ill children across the UK, often when they have nowhere else to turn.”
Newlife, which has just entered its 30th year, has provided equipment to more than 22,500 children, funded £15.7million of research and spends £3.6million a year providing its vital services.
Bargain hunters from around the country regularly flock to its stores which sell items donated by more than 240 leading retailers and manufacturers from around the UK and Europe, including River Island, Primark and Amazon, at much reduced prices.
Retailers donate items that would otherwise be destined for landfill, whether that be end of line surplus stock, faulty items or customer returns.
In 2019/20, the charity saved 13,050 carbon tonnes from being emitted into the atmosphere – up from 10,048 the year prior.
Until stores reopen, a Click and Collect service is available for some items online here.
All money raised through Newlife’s stores goes towards providing specialist equipment and support to disabled and terminally children around the UK.
Newlife launched a fundraising drive to keep its nurse-run helpline and emergency equipment loans service running through the pandemic but saw demand double for emergency loans of equipment.
The charity runs the UK’s only emergency equipment loan service which aims to get specialist equipment to families in crisis anywhere in the UK within 72 hours when they cannot access it through the statutory routes that ultimately have a responsibility to provide it.
As well as providing emergency loans and grants of specialist equipment, Newlife also campaigns for change in local and national policies that make it hard for families to access the specialist equipment they need.
In March, Newlife launched an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Equipment for Disabled Children. The cross-party group of MPs and Peers will be looking into how barriers can be removed that prevent families getting the equipment they need.
For opening times and to find out the latest about Newlife’s reopening plans click here.
Pic: Express & Star