Oxfam to start reopening high street shops from 15th June

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Oxfam to start reopening high street shops from 15th June

Oxfam will start reopening its network of high street shops in phases from 15th June, it announced today. The first stage will involve a number of shops in England, with as many shops as possible open for business by the end of July. Shops in Scotland and Wales remain closed at this stage.

The staggered approach will enable shop teams to follow government advice and take steps to create a safe environment in store, ensuring there’s space for social distancing, and that staff and volunteers have the personal protective equipment they need. All surfaces, doors and equipment will be regularly cleaned and donated items will be isolated for 72 hours.

Oxfam is appealing for volunteers to help shops get back to business over the summer. Each shop typically relies on a team of 30 dedicated volunteers and one or two staff, with more than 20,000 volunteers required in total. While shops are closed people are invited to register their interest online.

Shops will be accepting donations soon after they open from June 15th but, as items will need to be stored for 72 hours before volunteers can process them, storage space may be limited so people are asked to call ahead to check the best time to donate to help their local team keep safe and make the most of their generous donations.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “Our shops are a much loved part of their communities and, at this difficult time, we can’t wait to reopen our doors and reconnect with our supporters and shoppers. Our shop staff and volunteers are working hard to make sure we can welcome the public back into Oxfam stores safely.”

“I know that many of us have been busy decluttering under lockdown and we’re really excited about receiving any donations. We’re now appealing for volunteers to help us turn these potential treasures into vital funds for life-saving work.

“By donating to, shopping in or volunteering with Oxfam, people will be helping us to respond to Covid-19 around the world, providing vital support such as hand washing facilities, clean water, toilets and soap in the most vulnerable communities.”

The exact list of shops to reopen on 15th has not yet been finalised. While our customers wait for their local stores to reopen, the Oxfam Online Shop is already back up. Oxfam’s donation banks remain closed and the charity is working on ways to reopen them as soon as possible.

Oxfam has 595 high street shops in the UK, each one a community hub where diverse people work, meet, and raise money to help the world’s poorest people access the basics in life, like clean water to drink, and sanitation.

Together they generate significant income for the charity’s poverty fighting work, including the coronavirus response. Last year Oxfam shops raised £17.4m after costs for its work fighting poverty and helping people survive humanitarian emergencies.

Notes to editors:

Please contact Cordelia Kretzschmar on 07469 930453 or  ckretzschmar1@oxfam.org.uk 

Spokespeople available

Oxfam shops are getting ready to accept a wide range of donated items, including clothing and accessories, books, records, CDs, DVDs and homewares.

Oxfam’s Five Tips on How to Donate: 

  1. Clean things. Wherever possible, put clothes and textiles through the washing machine and wipe down solid surfaces
  2. Have a think about what items we can sell. Ask yourself, “Would someone I know buy this?” If the answer is “Yes”, we’d love to receive it.
  3. Call ahead when you’re ready to donate, to check the best time for your local shop.
  4. Stagger your donations, rather than bringing everything at once. We appreciate not everyone has lots of storage space and we’d be delighted to help clear your clutter from your home whenever the time is right and remember to bring your donations in bags or boxes which you don’t want back.
  5. Remember to Gift Aid your donation, this scheme allows charities to claim 25% extra on the sale of your donations. With Oxfam’s Tag Your Bag scheme we will also let you know how much money your items have raised for our work which includes supporting people facing coronavirus around the world.

We have a variety of volunteer roles to suit your skills and interests – from sorting and pricing items and serving customers, to managing listings for Oxfam’s Online Shop and running social media accounts.

Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal – an end to the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor. And we won’t stop until we get there. Join us!