Published: 15:01, 29 June 2020
| Updated: 16:46, 29 June 2020
Vital funds for a hospice charity can be raised again with the reopening of four shops after a long 13 weeks of closure.
The stores provide important income for ellenor, based in Northfleet, and reopened last week for shopping only.
The charity is making sure the shops follow latest government guidance around social distancing and measures to help restrict coronavirus being spread.
The four shops include Crayford, Dartford Priory, Swanscombe and Bexley and opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
All stores have been equipped with relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and Perspex screens to protect both workers and customers.
Floor markings and contactless payment methods are also in place.
People who may have used lockdown to tidy their homes are being urged to donate any items which they feel they no longer need.
ellenor says donations can be made at its centres in Northfleet and Bexleyheath only, so shops can continue to operate safely for retail only.
Gary Taylor, ellenor’s head of retail, said: “We are excited to be able to reopen some of our shops, and begin raising vital funds so we can continue to provide nursing and medical care to the people of Kent living with terminal or life-limiting illnesses, and their families.
"ellenor, like many charities, relies heavily on income from high street and online retail operations to support their fundraising operations and the temporary closure of our 16 charity shops during the coronavirus lockdown has hugely affected the hospice’s income.
"Monies are desperately needed in order to allow ellenor to continue providing the high standard of care to the people it supports living with life-limiting or terminal illness. We therefore urge everyone to not forget that ellenor has opened its doors again."
The charity estimated it would lose some £1.1 million as a result of lost fundraising events and income from its shops during the lockdown period.
Donations can be made at the Northfleet shop from Monday to Wednesday and at the Bexleyheath shop from Thursday to Saturday between 10am and 2pm.
"Monies are desperately needed in order to allow ellenor to continue providing the high standard of care"
Large items can still be collected from homes for free, the charity said.
The remaining 14 shops the charity runs will reopen on a staggered basis throughout the rest of the year.
Updates will be posted via the ellenor.org/our-shops website.