Closures in Harrogate highlight impact second lockdown may have on hard-pressed charities
There are fears that charity shops in Harrogate may be among those bearing the full brunt of the second lockdown to stem the growing rise of Covid-19 .
After struggling for revenue and to retain volunteers on and off since the first lockdown against the Covid pandemic in March, the easing of restrictions in the summer had brought hope for the hard-pressed charity sector.
Having closed again on November 5, charity shops in Harrogate can, in theory, reopen like elsewhere in England after lockdown ends on December 2.
But the signs are that not all the existing charity shops will be reopening their doors.
Already, Age UK's shop located at 50 High Street in Starbeck has said it has closed permanently.
The national charity, which has more than 250 Age UK charity shops throughout the UK and provides a range of quality support services for people aged 50+, still retains its local base at Cliff House in Knaresborough.
More details are available at www.ageuk.org.uk
During the first lockdown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak gave £750million in new funding to support charities and opposition politicians are calling for the same sort of package this time round.
Charities are entitled to access the current extension of the Government's furlough scheme to the end of March 2021.
Volunteering is included in the rules for the second lockdown as a reason members of the public can leave their homes.
But charities' pool of helpers is commonly dominated by older members of the public and the focus is on staying Covid safe at all times.
Locally, there are doubts, too, over whether the Harrogate Books & Music Shop located at 12a Beulah Street in Harrogate, will reopen at the end of lockdown.
Run by the British Heart Foundation, although its website says it has only closed temporarily, the sign attached to the window of Harrogate Books & Music Shop says that it has now closed permanently.
For any members of the public wishing to donate books, DVDs, CDs or vinyl records to the British Heart Foundation, the charity's website is advising to go to www.bhf.org.uk where there are details on its freepost donation service and its 7,500 collect + locations across the UK.
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