How our charity shops are operating post-Covid-19.

1 Jul 2020

The pandemic has affected everyone’s lives in a multitude of ways, and has definitely changed how we operate here at Break. From having staff work from home to our care staff having to alter the way they work, things have been shaken up across the charity.  

One aspect of our work that has been heavily affected is retail. All of our charity shops went into hibernation when lockdown started, however they’re now slowly being reopened and are getting back to being pillars of their communities. The first batch of shops reopened on the 15th of June, and gradually we have opened them all since this date.   

We are still getting used to the ‘new-normal’, and the way our retail shops operate has changed a lot since the beginning of the year. We had a visit from BBC Look East in June as our shops opened to have a look at the precautions we are taking to keep everyone (staff and customers) as safe as possible. Our shops have been reorganised to make social distancing easier, with less people allowed in the shop at one time and having a queue system in place. We are asking people to pay with Contactless if possible, keep touching to a minimum, and closing at midday for a break to clean and disinfect the shop.

Take a look at our YouTube video outlining our covid-secure shopping experience.



People have been spring cleaning as a way to pass time in lockdown, and we have been incredibly lucky to receive a huge amount of donations – this has really helped jump start our return to trading. All donations are quarantined for 72 hours after we receive them to make sure they are safe to sell.

Although the way we’re working is different, it’s brilliant to be back up and running. Our shops satisfy a number of needs – they’re a great place to find some bargains, a brilliant way to shop for clothes in an ethical and sustainable way, but they’re also for a lot of people a place to socialise – although at the moment this is a bit limited by social distancing! Our staff and volunteers make lots of friends within the community so it is great for everyone to be reunited.

We are also very grateful to the BBC for paying us a visit – the pandemic has hit our charity hard, so the publicity has been a great help in getting our name out there and getting some more support. With our shops now getting back to business we are hoping this will help us garner more support so we can keep changing the lives of young people across East Anglia.

Read more about our shops.