West Cork’s Gorta charity shops reopen with appeal to public

A chain of Cork charity shops that are reopening in the coming week are appealing to the public for support as they emerge from almost four months of lockdown.

The Self Help Africa (formerly Gorta) shop at North Main Street in Cork re-opened on Tuesday, 7th July and is followed by openings of the charity’s outlets in Bandon (Wednesday, 8th), Macroom (Friday, 10th) and Mallow on Friday, 17th July. A reopening date for Skibbereen is planned for September.

Lucy John, a young mother of three, was amongst more than 3,000 households in Salima, Malawi, to receive soap and PPE equipment from Self Help Africa as the charity supports households across Africa to avert the spread of coronavirus in their communities.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming our wonderful Cork customers back to our Self Help Africa stores over the coming weeks. The safety of our customers, staff and volunteers is our number one priority. We have put in place safe shopping arrangements, including Perspex glass screens, social distancing floor signage and hand sanitizing stations in all of our outlets” said shops manager Maggie Dwyer.

She said that the retail side of Self Help Africa’s charity fundraising had been severely affected by the COVID-19 shutdown, and that the organisation’s wider fundraising and programme activities in sub-Saharan Africa had also been significantly disrupted.

“We ask the general public to keep us in mind at this challenging time. If people have taken the opportunity over the past few months to do domestic tidy ups and clear outs, we would be delighted to receive any clothing, books, bric-a-brac or other household goods that are in good condition, and that could be recycled to a new home.”

Maggie Dwyer said that stocks across the charity’s network of outlets are quite low following the lockdown, and that all good quality goods would be gratefully received at any of their shops across the country.

“Given the nature of the coronavirus pandemic we would appeal to people to do the best that they can to make sure that goods are in a clean condition. Our shop volunteers are at the frontline, so we would be grateful if people would keep that in mind when they are dropping items in to us,” she added.

Self Help Africa is currently involved in extensive COVID-19 response work in sub-Saharan Africa, with masks, hand soap, safe hygiene and social distancing training being provided to communities across the countries where the organisation is working.

For more details about Self Help Africa’s shops opening plans visit: selfhelpafrica.org/ie/our-charity-shops/ or contact your local outlet directly at Cork North Main Street on 021-4254608, Bridge St Bandon on 023-8841444, Ballally Lane in Mallow on 022-43700, or Cork South Square, Macroom on 026-42188.

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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