A CHARITY shop in Ross-on-Wye is set to open its doors again for the first time in over six months.

The Dogs Trust, is opening its store on Broad Street with restrictions in place for customers.

In the last couple of weeks, staff have been preparing the shop by adjusting its layout to meet social distancing requirements, installing more hand sanitizing units and fitting ‘cough guards’ at till points.

Staff have also been provided with gloves, face masks and aprons.

The shop will operate under slightly reduced trading hours and will have dedicated time slots for when pre-loved goods can be received.

This is to make sure that all donated goods can be quarantined for 72 hours before being resold to help keep everyone safe.

Shop team are also asking that where possible, card or contactless payment, is used when making purchases.

For the moment, the charity shop will not be able to collect pre-loved goods from supporters’ homes as they are operating with reduced staff, and there are some temporary restrictions on the size and type of donated goods they can take – including larger items such as furniture, as well as books, toys and children’s games which are the most frequently handled in store.

In order to maintain social distancing, there will be a limit on the number of customers and staff allowed in the shop at one time, and shoppers are being asked to refrain from bringing their canine friends with them when visiting for the time being.

Hayley Hammerton, shop manager, said: “We are really excited to welcome our supporters back – albeit from a safe distance!

"You’ll notice a few changes in the shop which we have introduced to keep our supporters and employees safe; these will be very similar to the guidelines you are used to seeing in other high street shops.

“If you’ve been having a bit of a clear out during lockdown, we are pleased to announce that we can now accept your wonderful donations - please check out our drop off times to see when and where these can be donated.

"We would love your help to restock our winter collection with coats, boots, hats, gloves and scarves.

“Unfortunately, in times of financial hardship, many people struggle to cope with looking after their pets and Dogs Trust is already seeing a rise in the number of stray and abandoned dogs being brought into our centres.

"We estimate that an additional 40,000 dogs could be at risk of abandonment over the coming months in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

“Your kind donations to Dogs Trust will help us raise vital funds to change the tale for these stray and abandoned dogs in need.”