Oxfam will re-open its network of high street shops in Scotland on Wednesday 15 July, it announced today.
The announcement follows approval from the Scottish Government for non-essential shops to begin re-opening during the second phase of lockdown measures being lifted. The charity hopes the vast majority of its 42 Scottish shops will re-open on 15 July.
Oxfam says that protecting staff, volunteers, and customers from Covid-19 remains the priority, with shop teams taking measures to create a safe environment in store.
Shops will be implementing strict protocol, including social distancing, readily available hand sanitiser, masks and gloves for staff, screens at tills, regular and frequent cleaning, and closed changing rooms. Donated items will be isolated for 48 hours before they are sorted and contactless payment will be encouraged.
Oxfam is appealing for the public to call their local shop before dropping off items, to help staff manage donations. Shoppers are being urged not to leave donations outside when stores are closed.
Tom Richardson, Oxfam’s Operations Manager for Scotland and the North of England, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people back through our doors and our staff are working tirelessly to ensure we can do so safely.
“We know that many people have used lockdown as an opportunity to have a good clear out, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to find some real gems in your local Oxfam shop once it re-opens; after all, one person’s clutter is another’s treasure.
“People across Scotland have always been extremely generous in supporting Oxfam’s stores; whether through volunteering, donating or shopping and we hope that support continues as the vital funds raised by our shops are needed now more than ever.
“Every pound spent in our shops will help fight poverty and protect some of the world’s poorest communities from coronavirus. When you buy a pair of jeans in Oxfam you’re doing more than bagging a bargain and supporting sustainable fashion; you’re helping us to deliver life-saving items like soap and clean water to the people who need them most.”
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 across Britain.
Richardson added: “Oxfam relies on the goodwill and generosity of our volunteer team to help run our shops and we’re always looking for more help. We’ve all got the power to help change the world and everyone who volunteers in our shops is doing their bit, in their own way, to help create a fairer future for everyone.”
Volunteers are asked to give as little as four hours a week of their time and can take up a range of vital roles, from serving customers to sorting donations and arranging window displays. In advance of Scottish shops re-opening, people are invited to register their interest in volunteering online.
For more information and interviews, please contact: Rebecca Lozza, Oxfam Scotland Media and Communications Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07917738450
Notes to Editors
- Oxfam has a network of 595 high street shops across Britain, including 42 in Scotland. Once re-opened, Scottish shops will be accepting a wide range of donated items, including clothing and accessories, books, records, CDs, DVDs and homewares.
- The only shops which will remain closed for the time being are Oxfam’s stores in Elgin and McKinley Place, Newton Mearns, due to operational issues.
- Last year Oxfam shops raised £17.4m after costs for its work fighting poverty and helping people survive humanitarian emergencies.
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. 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.
- 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.