THE Sue Ryder charity is planning a phased reopening of its shops - and the Swindon branch is one of the first to welcome back customers.

The Victoria Road shop is open for business from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

The number of customers allowed inside the shop at a time is restricted, changing rooms are shut, and floor markers are installed to maintain social distancing.

The reduced opening hours allow for more time to clean the shop and keep it Covid-secure.

Acrylic screens set up at the tills and hand gel stations installed near the shop entrance aim to keep customers and staff safe. All donated stock will need to be kept in a holding area for 48 hours before being sorted and sent onto the shop floor.

This means that there may be times when the holding area is full and staff are unable to accept more donations.

Sure Ryder chief executive Heidi Travis said: "We are incredibly grateful for the support and generosity of the community in Swindon. The success of our shops is paramount to Sue Ryder’s aim to provide compassionate and expert palliative, bereavement and neurological support.

We look forward to welcoming back our customers and donors, old and new and we would like to thank our supporters in advance for their patience and understanding as we try our best to navigate the new environment that we find ourselves operating within."