Emmaus Burnley has reopened its Emmaus Department Store after a 12-week closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown.

The large charity store, located in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre, re-opened its doors on Monday 15 June. Companions and staff welcomed back customers and supporters after suspending all retail operations 12 weeks ago to ensure the safety of companions, staff, volunteers, customers and the local community.

Emmaus provides a home, meaningful work, training and support to people who have experienced homelessness or social exclusion. The majority of funds needed to support the charity’s work is generated from its social enterprise.

Explaining the new measures, Stephen Buchanan, Director of Emmaus in Rochdale, said: “We are pleased to have re-opened our large Emmaus Department Store and welcome back our supporters. The store is a great resource for the people of Rochdale who need affordable new and quality second-hand items.

“We have closely followed advice from the Government and Charity Retail Association and have implemented new measures to keep everyone safe. These include limiting the number of customers at any one time, installing markings and signs throughout the store and hand sanitiser stations at all entrance doors.”

The Emmaus Department Store stocks a wide range of new and quality second-hand settees, lounge furniture, dining tables, chairs, beds, wardrobes, office furniture and new kitchen appliances. All proceeds raised from the sale of these items is then used to support a community of formerly homeless people.

Due to the 12-week closure, the Emmaus team in Rochdale cannot accept donations until staff have worked through the backlog of items. For people wanting to donate their items to Emmaus, the charity is asking that they hold on to them and if possible, ensure they are cleaned and packed in bags or boxes and then secured with tape and labelled. Collections of larger items will resume from July.

The Emmaus Department Store is located within Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre, 50A Market Way, Rochdale OL16 1EA. The store is open Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 4:30pm. To find out more and support Emmaus head to www.emmaus.org.uk/rochdale