Charity shop in Ballymena town centre closes due to coronavirus pandemic

This message was posted at the charity shop in Ballymena. Picture: Eugene Diamond.

THE British Heart Foundation charity shop in Ballymena has closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

A notice at the shop said: ‘Due to the coronavirus outbreak we are sorry that we are currently unable to open our shops.

‘This is to support volunteers and colleagues who may be at a higher risk due to underlying health conditions or have caring responsibilites.’

In a press release, British Heart Foundation said their 750 UK shops and stores will be closed for the next two weeks.

Their statement said: ‘Our network of 750 UK shops and stores will close for at least two weeks today (Thursday 19 March) as we seek to protect staff, volunteers and customers from the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19.

We’ve made the decision in line with the Government’s latest advice and in response to the emerging evidence that people with many heart and circulatory diseases are at greater risk of complications if they develop Covid-19.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We’ve made the decision to close our shops and stores for two weeks from Thursday 19 March due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus.

“The British Heart Foundation exists to support the millions of people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases and it’s clear some people with these conditions are particularly vulnerable to complications if they develop Covid-19. As significant numbers of our volunteers, staff, customers and donors are in a high-risk group or are directly affected by heart and circulatory disease, it’s only right that we close our 750 shops and stores. Without the invaluable contributions of our staff and volunteers, it is not possible for us to operate normally.

“As a result of this decision, all of our collection services have been suspended with immediate effect and we would ask that people do not leave donations outside BHF shops as we will have no way of collecting them in the coming weeks.

“We are hugely grateful to all the hard work and support of all our shop teams, customers, suppliers and supporters and will continue to review the situation. We hope to re-open all shops as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Enhancing support for people with heart and circulatory disease

The BHF is now focusing on supporting people with heart and circulatory diseases as they face an anxious time self-isolating or following the Government’s advice on social distancing.

Allison added: “It’s vitally important we can support people with heart and circulatory diseases at a time that many will be worried about their health. We’d urge all of our supporters who might have concerns to visit our website for more information, and to continue to support our work to improve the lives of people across the UK.”

Questions about shopping with us

What if I am awaiting a delivery?

We will attempt to fulfil all orders on Thursday and Friday or provide a full refund. If you need further information, please contact our Customer Service team at customerservice@bhf.org.uk, open 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday

What will happen if I’ve booked a collection, or plan to book a collection?

We will be unable to accept any more donations after Thursday 19 March, and will not be collecting items from today (Thursday 19 March). If possible, please retain any items until our collection service resumes and shops reopen. Once back up and running we will be hugely grateful to receive all items.

Will the BHF’s eBay shop be open? Will I still receive something I’ve bought?

We will still be running our eBay store. If you have purchased an item recently that is being dispatched from our Leeds warehouse, you can expect to receive it soon. If you need to collect an item in store, we will arrange a collection or delivery when we reopen in the future or we will offer a refund.

For more information please contact our customer services team on customerservice@bhf.org.uk’, the statement ended.

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