RSPCA Bedfordshire North branch charity shop to open its doors Image: RSPCA

Bedford’s RSPCA charity shop is once again opening its doors to the public from tomorrow (Wednesday 29 July).

The RSPCA closed all of its 318 charity shops at the start of lockdown. But is now undergoing a phased re-opening, following the social distancing guidelines set out by the Government. A spokesperson for the branch said:

“We have missed all our customers and volunteers so much during the lockdown so we are thrilled to be back.

“Support for our charity shops during these difficult times means a lot to us as it means we can continue to care for local animals who need our help.”

Jenny Eden, RSPCA retail specialist, said:

“As branches are separately registered charities, their charity shops are a vital source of income to ensure that we can continue to care for animals in need in the local area, so we are thrilled to be able to open our doors to customers again and accept much-needed donations.

“We want to reassure our supporters that we will ensure the experience of shopping in our charity shops will be as safe and comfortable as possible.

“We are taking measures to protect our staff and our customers including the use of plastic screens, providing hand sanitiser, storing donations for 72 hours before they are sorted, wiping down hard goods and steaming clothing items before they go onto the shop floor, as well as regular cleaning, and putting social distancing rules in place.

“This way we can keep everyone in our shops safe whilst also continuing to help the animals who need us.”

The branches are separately registered charities and their shops are a vital source of funding to help more than 48,000 cats, dogs, rabbits and equines (2018).

The Bedfordshire North Branch charity shop is based at 9 Thurlow Street, Bedford. The opening hours have been changed to allow for cleaning. It will now be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am until 4pm.

If you have one small bag of donated items this can be dropped off at the shop, but for larger numbers of bags or large items please call the shop first to make an appointment.

For more information please visit the branch Facebook page or website.