Support plea as Martin House reopens Ilkley shop


Customers are being welcomed back as Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People reopens its Ilkley shop following the lockdown.


The store, on Brook Street, is one of 12 Martin House charity shops around the region which had to close in March when the nation went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Stephanie Rimmington, head of retail at Martin House, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome our customers back to the shop, and our team has been working really hard to put all the safety measures we need in place to keep everyone safe.”


Among the measures are anti-sneeze guards at tills, changed shop layouts, one-way systems and limits on the number of customers allowed in the shop at any time.


Staff and volunteers also have PPE equipment, and the shop will be frequently sanitised. Donations of clothes and other items will also be quarantined for 72 hours. The shop will also operate limited opening hours, 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday, to allow time for deep cleaning.


Stephanie added: “We hope our customers will be patient while everyone gets used to the new ways we have to work, and we will be reviewing our procedures regularly, to make sure they comply with government guidance as it changes.”


Martin House cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions across West, North and East Yorkshire, providing planned respite stays, emergency care and end of life care, as well as supporting families through bereavement.


As well as closing its shops during the lockdown, Martin House has been forced to cancel major fundraising events as a result of the pandemic, and expects to lose £2.4 million in planned income in the next 12 months.


Stephanie added: “The income we get from our shops is vital to helping Martin House raise the money we need to care for families in this area. It’s hit us hard to have to close for more than three months, and we hope our customers will continue to support us now we’ve reopened our doors.”


A complete guide to Martin House’s shops and how to support them is available on its website at www.martinhouse.org.uk.

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