This has obviously been an incredibly tough year for everyone, CRNS members, the wider sector and for all projects involved in the circular economy.
Whilst some projects have remained open during lockdown to deliver vital and essential services in their communities many had to close their doors to the public.
During lockdown we held a number of “virtual COVID-19 Forums” for our members where we discussed how projects were managing in lockdown and shared information on preparing safely for reopening projects again. The great news was that from the 26th April 2021 projects were able to open their retail reuse operations and other project services in line with the safe reopening guidelines.
Now that our members’ projects are open again we thought we would take a brief snapshot of opinion from across our network to see how projects are experiencing the end of lockdown and opening up again to a “new normal”.
“We were completely closed during lockdown and we’re delighted to be back in business and extremely grateful for the support of our customers and donors, which continues to be fantastic. Since Covid-19 we’ve completely changed how we work to help keep our team, customers and clients safe. We’ve made a range of adaptions in our reuse store including cleaning routines, signage and PPE equipment.”
Joyce Harkness, SHAX Dumfries.
“We delivered some essential services during lockdown but our retail premises were closed to the public. We didn’t know what to expect when we opened up again but on our first day there were queues around the block to get into our shop and we took almost a month’s takings in a single day!”
Willie Dunn, HomeAid West Lothian.
“Our reuse hub at Baldovie recycling centre in Dundee had to close during lockdown and our customers were regularly asking us when it would be opening again. Now it’s open again for three days a week on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and we are getting good levels of donations again. We are also looking at the feasibility of opening it for five days a week.”
Craig Anderson, Tayside Reusers.
“The excitement I felt on the lead up to our orchard maintenance day was such a buzz! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to do weeding before! With some changes to equipment use, sanitisation and 2-metre distancing in place, we are able to get back to looking after the much-loved community orchard in Nairn’s Viewfield.
Members of our community have already noticed the improvements and have been in touch to say thank you for the work that we do, we made a visible improvement which has been tough to achieve over the last year. As a staff member, there is a little bit of apprehension as to whether people will want to come along and volunteer given the recent relaxation of the lockdown, but we are blessed with an amazing pro-active and caring community and were able to introduce three new volunteers to Green Hive and the Nairn community at our most recent session.”
Caroline Woods, Green Hive.