YMCA starts to open its charity shops and calls for donations

After more than 12 weeks of being closed for business, YMCA charity shops have been throwing open their doors and welcoming back much-loved customers, donors and staff.

It will open 15 more stores by Friday June 26 as part of YMCA England and Wales’ first phase, which aims to restore more than 40 shops to their local communities by the end of the month.

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Across all of its reopened stores, YMCA will be adhering to government guidelines with additional cleaning and social distancing measures, alongside hand gel stations at each entrance to ensure a safe environment for customers and colleagues.

Once doors are officially open donations to YMCA shops are very welcome, and if donors have any questions or concerns before dropping items off, please feel free to call ahead.

One challenge that the current crisis has created is that YMCA has fewer volunteers than before. Alongside donations, staff are now also appealing for volunteers to help them get back up and running.

Without the dedication of hundreds of volunteers YMCA shops wouldn’t be possible, and so YMCA is calling on anyone who may be able to help to please get in touch.

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Simon Green, head of retail at YMCA England and Wales said: “The retail team have been working extremely hard to reopen stores in a way which keeps customers, staff and the community safe.

“It truly is a privilege to serve at the heart of communities, providing not only the chance for customers to find bargains and recycle goods, but also to gain employment experience and create new friendships.”

Money raised at YMCA charity shops across England and Wales is used to help transform the lives of young people across almost 700 local communities.

From providing a warm bed for homeless young people to delivering mental health advice and counselling for those in need. Every donation or hour volunteered makes a huge difference.

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Among shops opening on Friday June 26 are Bridlington Filey, Driffield and Great Yarmouth.

The shop in West Ealing, London, is already open.

The YMCA has charity shops across England including in the Manchester and Birmingham areas, on east and south coasts and in the North East.