Oxfam high street shops begin reopening today. Around 10 stores spring back into life this week, making sales and accepting donations to fight poverty. Around 150 more will follow in the next fortnight. By mid-July almost all Oxfam shops expect to be back in business. The Oxfam Online Shop re-opened fully three weeks ago.
Protecting staff, volunteers, and customers from Covid-19 remains the priority. So strict protocol, such as social distancing, readily available hand sanitiser, masks and gloves for staff, screens at tills, regular and frequent cleaning, and closed changing rooms, will be standard in all stores. Contactless payment will be encouraged.
Oxfam shops are local community hubs, places were people come to meet, work, shop and donate, raising money to help the world’s poorest people access the basics in life. Oxfam is expert in providing clean water and sanitation to vulnerable communities around the world. Hand-washing is one of the first forms of defence in the fight against Covid-19.
Indications suggest the nation spent lockdown decluttering, so the charity is expecting a surge in much-needed donations. But it’s asking people to contact their local shop to arrange a time to drop off items. This is because donations will be isolated for 72 hours before being sorted to prevent the risk of contamination, and storage space in shops may be limited.
Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “We are so pleased to be able to welcome people back into Oxfam shops and our teams have been working tirelessly to ensure we can do this safely.
“The shops generate vital funds for Oxfam’s work fighting poverty and protecting the world’s poorest communities from coronavirus – at a time when the pandemic is making people more vulnerable than ever.
“I want to thank all of those who support Oxfam shops – to us, they are amazing community hubs where people from all sorts of backgrounds work, volunteer, shop and donate to make the world a safer, fairer place for us all.”
Each shop relies on a team of more than 30 volunteers to operate. And with many volunteers still shielding, the charity is calling for new recruits. All volunteers can be assured of a warm welcome. You can register your interest in volunteering online here.
Last year Oxfam shops raised £17.4m, after costs, for its work fighting poverty and helping people survive humanitarian emergencies.
To find out if your local shop is opening today, or in the near future, look on oxfam.org.uk/shopnews
Notes to Editors
- Oxfam has 595 high street shops.
- Oxfam shops 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:
- Clean things. Wherever possible, put clothes and textiles through the washing machine and wipe down solid surfaces.
- 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.
- Call ahead when you’re ready to donate, to check the best time for your local shop.
- Stagger your donations, rather than bringing everything at once. And remember to bring your donations in bags or boxes which you don’t want back.
- 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!