Much-loved charity shop set to reopen

Pear Tree Fund trustee Nikki Sawkins (left) and volunteer Sue Bacle outside Dees Den, as it prepares

Pear Tree Fund trustee Nikki Sawkins (left) and volunteer Sue Bacle outside Dees Den, as it prepares to reopen on July 11. Picture: Pear Tree Fund - Credit: Archant

Volunteers at a charity shop which raises vital cash for the Pear Tree Fund have issued a rallying cry for support from the public when it reopens on Saturday (July 11) following the coronavirus pandemic.

Dee’s Den, in Steeple End, Halesworth, is gearing up to welcome shoppers keen to bag a bargain – all while maintaining a safe social distance.

As well as rearranging the inside of the shop so that people can remain one to two metres apart at all times, the team which runs Dee’s Den on behalf of the Pear Tree Fund – formerly known as Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund – have also introduced additional measures to keep everyone safe.

This includes PPE for staff, as well as quarantining any new donations for 72 hours to ensure they are COVID-free.

The shop will initially open with limited hours, from 10am to 1pm, and will only accept donations at the newly-acquired end of the building on Monday and Thursday mornings.

Anyone who would like to bring in a donation should make sure any clothes are freshly washed and put into a tied bag before they are brought in. Bric-a-brac and books should be clean and in a good condition, and must be delivered in closed containers.

The shop is unfortunately unable to accept toys at the moment, and can no longer accept electrical items.

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Pear Tree Fund trustee Nikki Sawkins, who manages the volunteers who run the shop, said: “The past few months have been very difficult for our charity, as we have had to cancel all of the fundraising events we had planned over the summer.

“At the same time, demand for the support we offer has increased as people have turned to us for counselling, dementia support and benefits advice while the lockdown has been in place.

“We are asking local people to help us by popping into Dee’s Den when we reopen on Saturday, browsing our shop at a safe distance.”

Money raised at the shop will go towards the running costs of the Pear Tree Centre, which opened earlier this year to bring vital information and support closer to home for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

The £880,000 Pear Tree Centre, which is next to Cutlers Hill Surgery in Halesworth, also closed temporarily but it plans to reopen in early August.