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Downham shop to reopen its doors from Monday

A popular Downham charity shop is set to reopen its doors from Monday.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is to reopen a further three shops, with those that unlocked doors this week, across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex recording a highly successful day of sales.

That leaves just five of the charity’s 43 shops still to reopen in two week's time.

EACH has been the second-fastest growing charity retailer in the country for the last two years.

Since the closure of its shops at the end of March the good cause has been losing out on £100,000 a week in income.

In June, EACH reopened five shops in Norfolk to assess how well it could balance the implementation of new safety precautions, the needs of staff and volunteers, and commerciality.

Those initial reopenings were a success, as was EACH’s second phase of 13 reopenings and the third phase of 18 reopenings this week.

Sarah Throssell, EACH acting head of retail, said: “The first phases of reopening have seen much higher sales figures than anticipated along with high volumes of donations, with some customers telling us they’ve been saving their donations especially for us, which has been lovely.

"We’re really excited to be trading in the community again and very nearly have all our shops back open across the region.

"The safety of customers, volunteers and staff remains a priority, and we can’t thank our customers enough for their patience and continued support.

"We really appreciate them respecting the guidelines we’ve put in place and are happy things seem to be working smoothly for all involved.

"It means we’re able to once again play the role we need to in helping fund vital care and support for families who access EACH’s services.”

There are measures in place at EACH shops to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and customers, while the charity continues to welcome donations.

It says there may be special arrangements in place to accept them so that donors are not required to enter shops and also that shops may temporarily stop accepting donations at certain times of day due to restrictions on handling donated goods, and the extra time needed to process them.

The charity is still asking people not to leave donations outside if shops are closed as they are likely to become damaged and result in a disposal cost for the good cause.

EACH has also reopened its online shops, on eBay and Amazon, with both reporting healthy returns.

For the latest on the reopening of EACH shops, as well as a video showing what to expect when visiting, go to www.each.org.uk/shopopenings

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