Retail re-opening announcement

A hospice is planning to reopen its chain of charity shops providing a life-line to essential funding as pandemic restrictions ease.

Officials at St Teresa’s Hospice have drawn up a blueprint to reopen the Darlington Superstore and charity shops in the town and across County Durham and North Yorkshire, which will get the tills ringing again, while ensuring staff and public safety.

Much-needed donations will also be accepted for the first time in almost three months, but, initially, will be confined to objects which can be contained in a box or a bag, which rules out furniture at the moment.

The initial opening will see:

  • all donations of goods to the warehouse only, to the rear of the Superstore, on McMullen Road, Darlington, from June 15
  • the warehouse will be open from 11am-3pm, Monday-Friday, only
  • the St T’s Superstore will be open from June 18, between 11am-3pm, Monday-Friday
  • Cockerton and Skinnergate stores are scheduled to re-open from June 22
  • Mowden is due to reopen from July 5
  • Other stores will undergo a phased reopening with details available on the St Teresa’s Hospice website

At the Superstore, staff have been working tirelessly on measures to ensure social distancing to protect people’s health, following a weeks-long deep clean and stock reorganisation.

A clearly marked one-way system has been installed, while staff are being equipped with screens at the till and PPE. Only five customers at a time will be admitted and hand sanitisation will be available.

Customers wanting to measure furniture are asked to bring their own tape-measures. Payments will be accepted by cards and cash.

Anyone dropping off donations at the warehouse on McMullen Road is asked to park at the side roller-shutter doors and ring the bell. They will be directed to place boxes and bags only on shelving, with donations being securely quarantined until the following day before being moved by staff to free-up space.

Shop team leader Yvonne Macdonald said: “It will be so great opening again to generate much needed funds to help the hospice continue its work.

“We are mindful of staff and customer welfare so have measures in place to protect everyone. It will be lovely to see our regulars and our stock is looking great. It’s such a difficult time for fundraising, with all the events being cancelled or postponed, so we are thrilled to be in a position where we can earn some money for the hospice.”

Donations of furniture will be accepted again once the current stock has been cleared and there is space to store it safely.

St Teresa’s Hospice’s emergency appeal will continue accepting donations at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts.

For store opening hours and for further announcements please visit www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/our-shops/ or phone the Superstore on (01325) 488701.