LONDON - Save the Children UK has told its retail staff this morning that all the charity’s 126 shops will temporarily close from tomorrow until the danger from coronavirus has passed.
The decision was taken primarily to protect the health of 3,500 volunteers, many of them elderly, who keep the shops running. Seventy retail employees are being asked to work from home on full pay.
The charity receives £900,000 a month in income from its shops, whose profits of around £60,000 a week are channelled into aid for some of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised children.
Ian Matthews, Save the Children UK’s trade director, said: “The past few days have been some of the most difficult and surreal times any of us will have faced in both our personal and professional lives.
“Yet it has also demonstrated some extraordinary teamwork, collaboration, commitment and passion for Save The Children – all qualities that will enable us to work through these uncertain times while we prepare for re-opening when possible.”
Matthews said 53 shops had been unable to open yesterday as volunteers absorbed the government’s advice to avoid unnecessary contact with other people.
“Their wellbeing is our paramount concern,” he added. “We’re taking this step to help volunteers stay safe and I want to thank every one of them for their dedication.”
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