THE Severn Hospice charity shop in Whitchurch has received a boost from the Rotary Club to help resume its fundraising work.

Covid safety measures are in place at the High Street shop – with a protective counter screen to separate customers and staff at the pay point, together with vinyl floor markings for direction and 'safe distance' spacing.

The joint project, by Whitchurch Rotary Club and a District Rotary initiative, is part of a plan to help charity shops that have been badly hit by the Covid lockdown and need support as they restart trading.

Whitchurch Rotary president, Ian Fawcett, said shops needed support as they reopened.

"Protecting volunteer staff and customers is essential – but it can be expensive," he said. "They need every penny they get and we know how that feels.

"If we can bear some of the expense then we hope it will help."

Rotary's own fundraising has also been restricted by the pandemic and the club has fought back with a series of 'virtual' projects to raise money for community causes, including provision of more than 1,800 PPE items for local care homes and home care organisations during lockdown.

Alternative projects have included replacing the cancelled annual variety concert at the Civic Centre with a DVD of edited footage submitted by performers that were scheduled to appear.

The discs were given away to local care organisations and sold locally.

"These, and the proceeds from our more recent virtual pet show, have helped soften the blow of a bad fundraising year for us too," added Ian.

Meanwhile, Severn Hospice shop manager Flossie Littlefair praised the support from the Rotary Club in the early days of reopening post-Covid-19 lockdown.

"Rotary support couldn't be more welcome in the early days of re-opening our shop," she said. "It's giving us an opportunity to get back to our primary aim of serving the local community and raising funds that are so needed by our hospice."