Hospice charity plans 'drive-through' shop donation point

St Barnabas Hospice says it hopes the move will prevent its 26 stores from becoming inundated with donations once they start to reopen

A St Barnabas store in the Birchwood area of Lincoln
A St Barnabas store in the Birchwood area of Lincoln

A hospice charity plans to open a drive-through donation point to collect items for its network of shops before they reopen. 

St Barnabas Hospice, which operates 26 stores in Lincolnshire, said it feared its shops would be inundated with donations once they reopened, which might begin to happen in early July. 

The charity’s comments were in line with those made by the Charity Retail Association, which warned yesterday that voluntary sector retailers faced a “double whammy” of high levels of donations but reduced numbers of staff when they reopened for business. 

St Barnabas has a store with an adjacent warehouse in Lincoln that it is adapting to accept drive-through donations. Supporters will need to make advance bookings to use it. 

It hopes to open the facility towards the end of June and begin reopening its stores a week later. 

Caroline Peach, the charity’s head of retail, said the charity had to adapt to how it dealt with donations in the current climate. 

She said the charity was instigating the drive-through initiative in a bid to prevent it from becoming inundated with donations once its stores began to reopen. 

“Our biggest concern is that the level of donations is going to be really high,” Peach told Third Sector.

She said the charity would be equipping staff with personal protective equipment so they could work as safely as possible. 

All but two of the charity’s 75 retail staff are on furlough. 

The charity has recorded a turnover of £16m through the sale of 750,000 items in its shops since 2012. 

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