Emmaus Gloucestershire is planning to re-open two of its shops after temporarily closing for 12 weeks due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The charity, which has a total of five shops, will begin a phased re-opening starting on Monday 15 June with its shops in Gloucester and Nailsworth. Both shops will be open from Monday – Saturday, 11am to 5pm.

Emmaus will be accepting donations of items in good saleable condition at both shops but is asking that people call ahead to check the charity has enough space to store items for 72 hours before moving to the shop floor.

The majority of funds needed to support the charity’s work helping formerly homeless people rebuild their lives are generated by selling second-hand furniture, household goods, and clothing in its social enterprises.

Emmaus Gloucestershire 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.

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 Gloucestershire is now confident it is safe to begin a phased re-opening of its social enterprises.

Explaining the new measures, Joe Feeley, Chief Executive at Emmaus Gloucestershire, said:

“We have closely followed advice from the Government and Charity Retail Association and have implemented new measures in our Gloucester and Nailsworth 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 coverings 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.”

In time, Emmaus Gloucestershire hopes to re-open its remaining three shops in Cheltenham, Stroud and Nailsworth but will closely monitor the situation and follow government advice should any changes need to be made.

Before dropping donations off at the Gloucester shop, call 01452 413095.

To check at the Nailsworth shop, call 01453 835036.

Follow the charity’s Facebook page at @EmmausGlos for regular updates.