SINCE the government announced that non-essential shops could reopen, Sue Ryder has been planning for a phased return of its charity shops across the UK.

We have been impacted heavily by the Coronavirus outbreak over the last three months as not only have our shops been closed but our fundraising events have also been cancelled.

Therefore we are very happy to announce that the Sue Ryder shop in Highcliffe on Lymington Road is now open for business Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

We are restricting the number of people in the shop at any one time and installing floor markings to support social distancing. We have also put in place enhanced shop cleaning, which is why we have reduced opening hours.

We have installed acrylic screens at our tills and hand gel stations at the entrance of each shop for customers to use. We have put in place strict procedures for sorting and selling donated stock and have also made the decision to close our changing rooms.

We are now able to take donations and whilst we need your donated goods – the increased safety measures we have put in place means that they will need to be kept in a holding area for 48 hours before being sorted and put on the shop floor. This means that there may be times when the holding area is full and we are unable to accept stock.

We are incredibly grateful for the support and generosity of the local community in Highcliffe. The success of our shops is paramount to Sue Ryder’s aim, which is to provide compassionate and expert palliative, bereavement and neurological support.

We look forward to welcoming back our customers and donors, old and new and we would like to thank our supporters in advance for their patience and understanding as we try our best to navigate the new environment that we find ourselves operating within.

Heidi Travis

Chief executive, Sue Ryder Eversholt Street, London NW1