Dover-based homelessness charity Emmaus Dover is set to re-open 2 of its shops after temporarily closing for 12 weeks due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The charity, which has a total of 3 shops, will begin a phased re-opening starting with its shop in Dover based at Archcliffe Fort on Monday 15 June from 10am – 4pmMonday – Friday only. The shop based in Canterbury will be re-opening on Monday 6 July from 10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday only.  

Emmaus Dover 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 are generated by selling second-hand furniture, household goods, and clothing in its social enterprises 

The charity temporarily suspended all retail operations 12 weeks ago to ensure the safety of its residents, staff, volunteers, customers and the local community during the current situation. With new measures in place, Emmaus Dover is now confident it is safe to begin a phased re-opening of its social enterprises 

Explaining the new measures, Debbie Stevenson Community Manager at Emmaus Dover, said: 

“We have closely followed advice from the Government and Charity Retail Association and have implemented new measures in our Archcliffe Fort and Canterbury shops to ensure it is safe to re-open. All staff and volunteers have been fully trained on the new measures and will be equipped with face masks, and disposable gloves. Hand sanitiser points have been installed throughout the shop, as well as markings to direct customers. We will be limiting the number of customers at any one time to maintain social distancing and have changed the layout in our shops to accommodate this.” 

Item donations can be dropped off at the Archcliffe Fort siteArchcliffe Road, Dover, CT17 9EL on Fridays only from 10am – 4pm. Donors will need to telephone and book a 10-minute slot before they come to the site to drop off donations. Donations brought onsite will have to be unloaded by the donor and placed in the drop off area. Anyone bringing donations onsite without a booking will be refused. Emmaus Dover asks that all donations are cleaned prior to packing in bags or boxes and then secured with tape and labelled where possible. Clear signage will be displayed advising where to drop off donations. 

In time, Emmaus Dover hopes to re-open its remaining shop in Ashford but will closely monitor the situation and follow government advice should any changes need to be made.  

Follow the charity’s Facebook page for more updates @emmausindover