Charity shops across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are now beginning to reopen their doors, and there’s never been a better time to support them.

Many local charities have struggled to raise funds during the coronavirus pandemic, but organisations such as Dorset Reclaim, Age Concern Christchurch and Age UK have now been given the green light to reopen their shops.

Staff and volunteers have been working hard to put in safety measures, and many are now welcoming customers again.

Dorset Reclaim’s retail depots in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorchester have now reopened, selling a wide range of good-value furniture and white goods, with further discounts for low-income households. The charity has also restarted its collection service for bulkier items – visit www.dorsetreclaim.org.uk to find out more.

Age Concern Christchurch has also now reopened both its stores, offering customers a choice of clothing, accessories and household goods at its shops in Tuckton and Bargates (see www.ageconcernchristchurch.org.uk/shops/ for more detail). Age UK is gradually reopening stores across the region and the local branch (Age UK Bournemouth, Poole and East Dorset) will reopen its Parkstone store before the end of July (call 01202 744997 for details).

Karen Loftus, Chief Executive of Community Action Network (CAN) said: ‘These charities provide vital services to the local community and proceeds from shop sales form a key part of their income, so now is a great time to support them.

‘For those who might have been hit financially by the pandemic, charity shops mean you can give your wardrobe a boost, top up your bookcase or replace household essentials without breaking the bank. And with many households taking the opportunity to have a clear out during lockdown, the reopening of charity shops mean you can now send those piles of clothes or used household goods to a new home too. After all, it’s so much better to re-use than throw away!’