Charity shop urges residents to hold off on donating items during lockdown

EACH charity shop Royston

The EACH charity shop in Royston is asking people to avoid leaving donations outside the shop before they open. - Credit: EACH

A children's charity which is waiting to open a shop in Royston is asking people to hold on to their donations for the time being rather than leaving them outside the shop.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) has acquired the High Street premises formerly occupied by Woolworths. The grand opening was scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 21 - but in light of the new nationwide lockdown the charity has now said they intend to open as soon as possible.

In the meantime, any donations left outside the shop could result in the charity having to pay a disposal cost.

Sarah Throssell, EACH acting head of retail, said: “We’re obviously very sad to have to postpone the opening, though realising it is for the right reasons.

"We’d had such a brilliant show of support from everyone in Royston who had heard about us coming to town, whether they were offering to come along and shop, volunteer or make donations.

"We’d now like to ask people to hold on to their donations, if they possibly can, rather than leaving them outside the shop where they are likely to become damaged and result in a disposal cost.

"The team who will run the shop have been furloughed for the time being, along with all our staff who keep our network of 43 other shops across the region running and bringing in vital money. This means there will be no one there to take in donations.

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“We will finally throw open the doors when it’s possible, but until then we thank everyone for their support so far and hope you all stay safe.”

The charity provides care for hundreds of children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and support for their families. Of its three hospices, the nearest one to Royston is in Milton, just north of Cambridge.

EACH has said they would like the Royston shop to be "a real community hub", particularly in light of the challenges the charity has faced in 2020 when their normal fundraising activities were unable to take place.

Before the recent government announcements, EACH was forecasting a loss of £2.2 million over the next 12 months - a third of the total it needs to support families across the region.