Charity shops or bust? UK charities on the brink of crisis in post Covid-19 world

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council, says our High Street faces unprecedented challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  He has written to Oldham Council bosses over concerns for the future of the charity economy in Oldham Borough.

Charity shops provide essential revenue for charities in Oldham Borough, Greater Manchester and across the UK.  They also provide an affordable option for many people to shop locally.  

Howard Sykes

Councillor Sykes has asked a number of questions to Oldham Council about how to protect this important sector of the Oldham community:

  1. How can Oldham Council support and help charity shops in Oldham Borough as we move out of this crisis?
  2. Have you spoken to the Charity Retail Association or any local charities to understand the challenges that they may face?
  3. How will Oldham Council support charity shops can manage and help support donations in a safe way?  Many volunteers will be shielding and not be able to help in the way they had previously.
  4. How will Oldham Council share and promote key safety and advice messages to residents when returning to the high street?

Councillor Sykes says:  “The challenges facing charity shops in the wake of COVID-19 are significant.  As they are for many high street retailers.  A build-up of possibly infectious donations outside charity shops will cause additional challenges to the Council and people who are shopping, which is a concern.”

He continues:  “The Council has a responsibility to protect and ensure our elderly volunteers have a plan of reintegration and support when things start to return to normal.”

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