One of the West Midlands’ oldest charities is asking people not to leave donations outside its shops due to the potential risk of inadvertently spreading Covid-19.
The Beacon Centre is asking everyone who donates to its stores to leave their details and confirm their household has not had any coronavirus symptoms as part of measures to keep staff, volunteers, and customers safe.
However, the sight loss charity has seen a surge in items being left outside the shops which sadly must be disposed of as staff cannot be sure they have come from Covid-19 symptom free homes. Items left outside shops also run the risk of being damaged by bad weather. Beacon Centre Area Retail Manager Rob Evans said:
“We know that many of these items will have been left by people with the best of intentions. Sadly though, people leaving items outside our stores could put our team at risk if we don’t know they are from symptom free homes. We’re also concerned about the risk to those with sight loss who may not realise these items are there when walking past.
“We welcome good quality donations as the pandemic has had a devastating impact on us financially, but ask that people follow the guidelines we have put in place to keep us all safe.”
The charity currently has three of its seven retail stores open; Sedgley, Wolverhampton Clearance Centre and the Penkridge branch. Bosses are asking, where possible, for people to make any donations at the Clearance Centre, which is in Lower Walsall Street, Wolverhampton.
Those making donations will be asked to leave their details and confirm that neither they nor anyone in their household has had any Covid-19 symptoms within the last 14 days.
Donations are also being accepted at the charity’s Sedgley branch during opening hours. Anyone wanting to donate to the Penkridge branch is asked to please call first due to storage space being extremely limited. The charity can also only accept bric-a-brac, toys and books that have been boxed up. All thee shops will be operating with reduced opening hours so that the stores can be cleaned each day.
Sight friendly markings have been installed around the shops to make social distancing easier and plastic screens will be in place at the tills. The changing rooms are also not in use.
To comply with social distancing guidelines only six customers will be allowed in the clearance centre and Sedgley shops at any one time and two in Penkridge. Customers will be asked to sanitise their hands on entering the shops.
The charity has also relaunched its furniture donation collection service. You can call 01902 880 111 if there’s an item you would like to donate.