By Cian Molloy - 11 July, 2020
The Society of St Vincent de Paul expects to have all 234 of its Vincent’s charity shops to be open for business by the end of this month.
Already, most of the SVP’s retail outlets are up and running, but they are working on reduced opening hours to give staff and volunteers additional time to get themselves, the premises and the stock fully ‘COVID-containment ready’ before members of the public are allowed to enter.
All Vincent’s stores in the republic now open at 10.30 a.m., but times vary greatly north of the border, where different post-lockdown rules apply.
Jim Walsh, a spokesperson for the charity, said that there has been a great response from the public, with lots of donations received during June.
In some parts of the country, charity shops have been inundated with both ‘pre-loved’ and ‘never used’ second-hand clothes with the result that they have stopped taking donations temporarily. But Mr Walsh said: “Donations tapered off in the past few weeks, but they are still coming in and are welcome.”
To help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, a number of new safety measures are in operation. All clothes and goods donated to Vincent’s are ‘quarantined’ for at least 72 hours before they are made available for sale.
As per public health recommendations for retailers, there are hand santizers at entrance doors and the number of shoppers permitted in-store is limited at any one time.
Additionally, staff are wearing facemasks, payment areas have a perspex frontage and signs are in place reminding shoppers to maintain good social distancing.
In the meantime, new volunteers are always welcome and you can sign up via www.svp.ie