Wakefield charity shop calls for support as it opens its doors for the first time in months
Scope charity shop in Wakefield has reopened its doors to the public this week and is urging the public to support them after months of lockdown.
The shop on Borough Road is one of the first of the diablility equality charity shops to reopen to the public.
Scope say they have seen its retail imcome plummet during the pandemic with the charity's income dropping a huge 85 per cent.
The Wakefield shop has potentially lost £53,000 from April 1 to June 11 2020.
They say their first priority as its shops reopen is the safety of staff, volunteers and customers.
Shopping post-Coronavirus will be a different experience and new safety guidelines will be in place. Scope are introducing social distancing, intensive shop cleaning, hand washing and imposing a 72-hour quarantine for all donations.
All shops will have sneeze screens in place at the till for added reassurance.
Scope’s staggered approach to reopening its network of 207 shops will be an opportunity to test and learn. For the initial period, shops will be inviting one customer in at a time. All customers will be expected to use the hand sanitiser before browsing and one-way systems will be in place where necessary, along with two-metre distancing markers on floors.
Scope shops raise vital funds for the charity to run its services for disabled people. Since lockdown began in March, Scope’s helpline has seen an influx of calls from disabled people concerned about Coronavirus.
Scope’s online community has enabled thousands of disabled people, who might otherwise be feeling isolated, to connect with others. The charity’s family support and employment services have had to set up remotely so we can continue to be there for the people that need us.
As many people have had more time at home for a declutter, Scope is hoping to turn the public’s donation bags into money for services that support disabled people and their families. Each bag of donations is worth, on average, £20 to Scope.
81 bags could enable Scope to run its Parent’s Connect service for one week
119 bags could enable Scope to run its Starting Line employment support service for one week
275 bags could enable Scope to run its Navigate parent support service of one week
340 bags could enable Scope to run the Online Community for one week
It’s not just Scope’s shops that have been affected by lockdown. Street fundraising has been paused and challenge events cancelled. Scope usually has a monthly income of just over £3 million, but that has dropped by at least 60 per cent. Public support is needed now more than ever so that Scope can be there for disabled people and their families and deliver everyday equality
Cath Wilkinson, Manager of Scope charity shop in Wakefield said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to welcome our wonderful community through our doors and we’re all looking forward to seeing our customers once more.
“We’ve put stringent safety procedures in place to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues. I am sure this will seem rather strange for many people to begin with and I hope customers will bear with us during this period.
“You can still find fabulous bargains and hidden treasure in our shop. If people wish to donate, they can either bring it along to our shop in Borough Road and put it in the purple wheelie bin outside. Or they can see if there will be a driver in their area, by going onto the Scope website.
“If anyone has a few hours to spare and would like to consider volunteering, we’ll ensure you have PPE and are well supported. Please do drop in or call the shop for a chat. We’re a very friendly team and as long as you have a comfortable pair of shoes, you’ll thoroughly enjoy volunteering with Scope and will be helping to support disabled people.”
Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of disability equality charity Scope said: “The lockdown has had a huge impact on our income at a time when disabled people need our services the most.
“It’s vital that we get our shops back serving their communities. Our ability to run services that support disabled people and their families relies on income from our charity shops.
“We hope that shoppers will return but we recognise that we have a responsibility to keep them safe. Our priority is to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers, which is why we are phasing the opening of all shops to ensure every safety measure is in place beforehand.
“This is a challenging time for many charities, but with the help of the public we are determined to be here for disabled people in the long-term.”