LOROS launch urgent appeal for shop volunteers

Published on 20th August 2020

LOROS Hospice, a local charity hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, has launched an urgent appeal for shop volunteers to enable the phased reopening of its charity shops.

The Hospice, which has 29 shops across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, was forced to close its shops and send volunteers home in March when the country first went into lockdown.

LOROS was able to begin accepting donations and reopening some shops when restrictions were lifted, however, with many people still shielding, the charity is facing a severe volunteer shortage, with one shop remaining closed and many, including Ashby, Market Harborough, Coalville and Oakham operating reduced hours and trading days.

Gary McMillan-Dale, Retail Manager at LOROS, said: “Our charity shops and warehouse rely heavily on volunteers - we simply couldn’t do what we do without them. Unfortunately, since the outbreak, we’ve only been able to welcome 40% of our volunteers back and are really struggling without the great help we usually receive.”

Like many other charities, LOROS has had to pause donations until its shops are able to operate at full capacity.

Gary said: “We have been inundated with donations, which we are truly grateful for, but we are in desperate need of volunteers so that we can return to business as usual and start selling!

“Social distancing means we are only able to have a few people in the shop at a time so it is absolutely crucial that each and every one of our shops is open so that we can get as many customers through the door as possible.”

The charity is now asking anyone who can spare a few hours a week to get in touch.

Gary continued: “We have so many great opportunities available for volunteers, not only in our shops but the warehouse and selling on eBay too. Often, people think they have to commit to volunteering regularly or for a long period of time, but that isn’t the case - in the shops we’re simply happy for any help we receive.”

LOROS, who predicts the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a loss of £2.3 million loss of raised income over the current financial year, relies heavily on the one million pounds its 29 shops generate for each year.

John Knight, CEO at LOROS, commented: “We simply must get our remaining shops open again soon. The people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland need LOROS, so we’re asking anyone who can give a couple of hours a week to please get in touch. Please help us to stay open.”

If you’d like to learn more about volunteering in your local LOROS shop, please email joelliott@loros.co.uk, who will be happy to assist you.

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