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Hospice charity shops closed for safety of staff, volunteers and shoppers

23rd March 2020

All 46 Princess Alice Hospice shops will be closed until further notice, as a precautionary measure during the current COVID-19 emergency.

Customers are being asked not to bring donations of goods for sale, and the furniture collection and delivery service has also been suspended.

Supporters of the Esher-based charity – which depends almost entirely on charitable donations – are being urged to keep supporting in alternative ways such as making an online one-off or regular donation or signing up for the Lottery

Shoppers can also visit the Hospice Ebay site to pick up good quality items at bargain prices –

The Hospice’s Retail Director, Phil Seal, said today: “Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our loyal staff, volunteers, and customers so the retail division’s suspension of operations is necessary at this time.

“We are not accepting any donations, so please do not bring them to the shops or leave them outside closed premises.

“Unfortunately our furniture collection service has also been suspended until further notice.”

The Hospice’s end of life care services are continuing, both at the West End Lane premises, and in the community, where the team are continuing to care for patients and their families under prescribed Public Health England (PHE) guidelines.

Only staff and essential visitors are being admitted to the building.

Chief Executive Nicki Shaw said: “As an organisation we are monitoring the situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak here in the UK. The senior management team and a specific task group, are rolling out a programme of strategic action to tackle the scenarios that are developing as a reaction to Government advice.

“We continue to review not only how we operate now but also how we will operate over the coming weeks and months. We want to ensure that we are prepared so that we continue to support as many patients, families and carers as possible, either directly or indirectly, over the coming months.

“Losing the hugely significant proportion of our income, which our shops bring in, will undoubtedly have a profound and worrying effect on the Hospice.

“We are looking urgently at how we can fill the substantial gap created by this sudden loss of weekly income. It is not made easier by the cancellation of so many public sponsored events such as the London Marathon, which provide another vital income steam every year.

“Already our brilliant fundraising team is working on ideas and strategies to ensure these setbacks can be overcome or mitigated. We know our loyal and brilliant supporters in the community will get behind us, in the uncertain days and weeks ahead.

“These unprecedented events pose an immense challenge to the Hospice, its staff, patients, volunteers and wider community. We have plans in place to tackle the immediate future – and further challenges are already well in our sights as the long-term implications become apparent.”

Updates will be posted on the Hospice website and social media channels – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.