As lockdown measures are eased hospices are continuing to reopen their charity shops, and in the case of The Hospice of St Francis, launching a brand new community bookshop.
The Berkhamsted hospice had to delay the opening of Chapter Two by three months due to the pandemic, but it’s now open selling second-hand fiction, crime, architecture, travel, cookery and gardening books. There’s also a vintage area devoted to Penguin Originals alongside a dedicated children’s corner with classics, fascinating fact books and stories for all ages. The shop also sells vinyl and a selection of gifts and cards.
Many of the furnishings are also second-hand to ensure the shop is as sustainable as possible, such as the donated bookcases and shelving and recycled materials on the counter.
The shop team is adhering to government guidelines – hand sanitisers and social distancing are in place and staff wear PPE in the form of visors and gloves. Card payments are preferable but the shop will continue to take cash if requested.
Plans for workshops have been put on hold for the time being, but the team is holding virtual book clubs, creative writing workshops and children’s story times initially read by owners of other small local independent shops. The charity bookshop is also offering a book repair service and selected books are also available to buy online through Chapter Two’s Abe Books page.
Mark Jackson-Hancock, manager of Chapter Two, commented: “I’m sure lots of people will have rediscovered reading during lockdown and we have lots of books here to fuel individual passions further. We may have been delayed but are delighted to be opening our doors to local people and carrying on the tradition of having an independent bookshop in the heart of Chesham, and following in the footsteps of Chapter One, run by Liz Payne, which served the town for over two decades.”
Meanwhile Compton Care in Wolverhampton has shared plans to re-open a number of its 28 charity retail stores.
Its store in Rowley Regis will be the first to re-open on July 20th closely followed by its Compton Hall shop in the grounds of the charity headquarters in early August.
In addition, the charity is set to open a number of its shops across Wolverhampton and the Black Country as dedicated ‘donation stations’. Each week, a selection of stores will open solely with the intention to collect unwanted donated goods from the public.
Hamish Shilliday, Director of Income Generation, explained the reason for the phased reopening: “Whilst we are eager to re-open it is important that we do not rush. Times are still really uncertain, and we are unsure how it will affect people’s shopping habits.
“We want to reassure everyone that we have been working really hard behind the scenes to put all of the necessary safety and social distancing measures in place making our stores safe to work in, safe to shop in and safe to donate to. Whilst closed we’ve also spent time carrying out some essential health and safety refurbishment works in some of our stores. The safety of our staff and visitors is our priority.”