As Overgate Hospice prepare to start reopening their charity shops across Calderdale, they are faced with the huge task of implementing the new safety measures set out by the Government. From ensuring social distancing measures are adhered to, to installing screens around the tills, it will see a huge change for the charity and the army of volunteers who help to keep the shops open. One of the measures that are required is the need to ‘quarantine’ donations from the public for 72 hours before being sorted and put on the sale in the shops to limit any transmission of the coronavirus infection.
This poses a huge storage issue for the Hospice’s retail team as many of their charity shops are small with little storage space.
To help with this, the Hospice put a tweet out on their Twitter account appealing for the use of an empty storage unit. Almost immediately, Alison Haskins, CEO of Halifax Opportunities Trust, responded with an offer of help. She said, “When I saw Overgate Hospice’s request on Twitter for storage space I got in touch immediately to say we could help with free units at Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre. It’s so important for charities to work together during the pandemic and I’m delighted we came up with a solution so quickly.”
Halifax Opportunities Trust has given two units to Overgate, free of charge. The units will be used as a warehouse for the Hospice to store donations for 72 hours and prepare the donations for sale.
Laura Golding, Director of Income Generation at Overgate said, ‘We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support we have received from the Calderdale community during the pandemic and this is another example of the kindness shown. The free use of these units will help us to get our charity shops up and running and raising money for the Hospice, whilst keeping our staff, volunteers and customers safe. We are so grateful to Alison and the Halifax Opportunities Trust team for their help and support.’
Overgate Hospice has 14 shops across Calderdale, each one raising money to fund end of life care for local people at the Hospice. The shops are supported by over 400 volunteers who offer their skills and time to sort through donations, serve customers and collect and deliver furniture.
Overgate is planning a phased reopening of their charity shops to be able to be able to safely implement the changes. The first shop to reopen will be the Brighouse Furniture Shop on Monday 15th June followed by the Little Stars Children’s Shop in Elland on 17th and the Hipperholme shop on 19th June.
Due to exceptional circumstances under which this requirement arose HOT took the decision to offer the space to Overgate Hospice free of charge as a way of supporting the charity during the pandemic.