By Thomas Wootton
The Cancer Research UK shop on Horsforth Town Street has received a flood of donations, just one week after leaving the second lockdown.
The second lockdown, although shorter, has had a heavy financial impact on businesses and the charity sector.
In June, figures from Pro Bono Economics estimated that UK charities were facing a £10.1 billion funding gap across the remainder of 2020.
Lorraine Bare, the assistant manager, said: “Donations are the lifeblood for this charity and the entire sector”.
“We’ve suffered heavy financial losses as a result of the second lockdown, particularly as the timing is close to Christmas which is when we’re most busy selling Christmas cards and goods.”
The ongoing pandemic has resulted in the charity shops and its customers having to abide by strict Covid regulations.
Lorraine said: “We’ve had to impose and maintain strict Covid measures to ensure both the customer’s safety, our shop’s demographic mainly being those who are classed as vulnerable.
“The measures are also there to ensure the staff and volunteers are safe. We each use separate cups and even wrap up individual biscuits.”
The measures have made things more difficult all round, as one volunteer explained: “The measures – while necessary – have made things a bit awkward with regards to social interactions between us and the customers.
“However the customers have been fantastic in following the measures and being respectful of one another.”
Despite the financial losses incurred as a result of Covid, the charity and its volunteers have remained positive towards the shop’s future.
Another volunteer, Charlie Hogston, said: “ The pandemic and the lockdown have been daunting, we didn’t know what to expect.
“But it’s been really lovely to see the customers old and new coming out in support – we’ve had not only an increase in donations but also gift-aid.”
Lorraine was hopeful that the trend would continue into the future.
“We’re very very positive here and we see no reason why we can’t reach previous records and maybe some weeks will be even better,” she said.