Two hospice charity shops to close due to lockdown struggles

Two hospice charity shops to close due to lockdown struggles

by Danielle Thompson (July 2020)

QUEENSCOURT will close two of their charity shops due to financial struggles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Champion revealed that the pandemic had sent the Kew-based hospice’s income plunging to less than a third – at a time when they had to shell out more than ever before to equip staff with PPE equipment.

They have suffered from a 66% reduction in legacies left in people’s wills and 68% fundraising drop compared to 2019.

Now the team at the hospice, which provides end of life care for patients from Southport, Formby and West Lancashire, have shared the ‘sorry’ news that their Ormskirk and Tarleton stores will not be reopening at all.

They confirmed that the Southport, Formby and Burscough stores will reopen.

Sue Newth, Queenscourt’s area retail manager, said: “We would like to thank all of our loyal customers, volunteers and staff at our Tarleton and Ormskirk shops who have made a huge contribution to Queenscourt over the years.

“We are all so sorry that the shops can’t continue, but it is not possible to make the necessary changes to keep our customers safe on those premises.

“Our intention is to pursue opportunities for pop-up shops in both of these areas, but in the meantime we will be offering a mobile Donation Station facility for anyone who wishes to still donate items to Queenscourt in Ormskirk and Tarleton.

“Further details will be available in due course via our website and social media.”

Due to coronavirus measures, they are implementing a ‘phased re-opening’ of the stores in Southport, Formby and Burscough, which will all have revised opening hours of 10am-3pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

The Churchtown store reopened on July 2, but it is not taking donations – but their Bispham Road shop in Churchtown reopened as a Donation Station instead of a store, taking items which can be properly quarantined before being sold.

Their Chapel Street store in Southport reopened on July 14; the Burscough shop will open on July 21 and the Formby shop will reopen in early August – but the Tarleton and Ormskirk shops ‘cannot adequately meet the necessary safety requirements and still generate a profit.’

As well as store closures, key fundraising initiatives that would normally have taken place, including Make A Will month and Star Trekk, have had to be postponded. This also resulted in a significant loss of income for Queenscourt.

Their Queenscourt’s eBay site has remained open for business throughout the pandemic at www.tinyurl.com/queenscourtebay

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