In early July, Scotland moved to Phase 3 of the route map out of the Covid-19 lockdown. Since then our members across Scotland have been busy re-opening their projects and shops to the public.

Defining a new normal

That said, things have hardly returned to the pre-lockdown normal. Lots of precautions have been taken to ensure customers, staff and volunteers are being kept safe from Covid-19 by following best practice guidelines.

Please help your local reuse & charity shops

Most reuse & charity shops across Scotland have also experienced an upsurge in donations. Many people have been using the lockdown to have a clear-out or get to that long-awaited DIY project and this has resulted in many items they want to donate. However, this can cause operational challenges when charities are running with fewer staff or have vulnerable volunteers.

Your local reuse store and charity shop really needs your donations right now, but also needs to manage this safely. Therefore, we would ask that you:

  • Contact the shop before dropping off donations to ensure they are open and arrangements have not changed. You can find your local charity shop by searching our member map.
  • Please clean items thoroughly before donating as this minimises the need for shop volunteers to handle the goods.
  • Sort goods into separate bags (textiles, books etc).
  • Check that the goods you want to donate are good quality, fully working items that meets the relevant safety standards (i.e. fire labels attached to sofas and mattresses). Charities pay for their waste and if they receive products which they cannot sell, this can actually cost them money.

There is a lot of good news even during these challenging times

Many of our members have been sharing fantastic stories about how they have responded to the unique challenges presented at this time:

  • Something Old Something New started making reusable facemasks and have been overwhelmed by the positive response. As well as meeting the needs of their community in an environmentally responsible way they are generating valuable income for the charity.
  • The Remade Network has opened a new pop-up shop with Govanhill Baths where people can drop off items that need to be fixed, with significant savings over buying new. Glasgow City Council have also donated 500 computers to be given to local refugees and low-income families.
  • When Starter Packs Glasgow were looking to reopen they launched with an excellent recruitment video to attract new volunteers – we challenge you to watch this and not smile!

Working together to ensure a safe reopening

CRNS is a membership body that supports community resource organisations throughout Scotland. During the Covid-19 pandemic we have been supporting our members in many ways – for example, by signposting available funding, lobbying for more support and sharing best practice reopening guidance. If you are not a member but want to sign-up for our fortnightly Forums (or get access to the notes) please get in touch. And if you are not yet a member please consider joining us.