Temporary closure of our clothing collection, warehouse and SP&S operations

Dear colleagues, customers, donors and supporters

At the beginning of this year, a month ago and even as recently as last week, no one could have foreseen the extraordinary situation we are in and facing with the coronavirus pandemic. The Government’s mandate yesterday evening is for us all now to follow, to the letter, a period of staying at home in our households with very limited exceptions.

In his announcement, PM Boris Johnson announced that non-essential shops must close; following feedback from shops and a decision taken last weekend by senior managers, our shop teams managed to complete this yesterday. In the same announcement, it became clear that textile collections and other business activities are not considered essential and our teams do not receive key worker status as in the case of other professions. This leaves us, as a business and management team, no choice but to temporarily close our clothing collection operations, SP&S General & Music dispatch services and warehouses as of close of business today, Tuesday 24th March.

Our main offices at Wellingborough will also close, but the majority of support staff have been moved to remote working to enable essential functions to continue, along with our field staff and World of Sound team. By closing our main operations, along with our shops, we are able to fully comply with the Government’s new rules on staying at home.

We appreciate your donations and know that this next few weeks may be an opportunity to sort through your clothes and other items. Please hold on to your kind donations and do not visit our clothing banks (or our shops and donation centres) during these extraordinary times – this is not currently deemed an exception by the Government as part of the stay at home rules that now apply to us all.

Despite these changing times, there are a few certainties I want to remind you of. We are all part of our communities, and we will do our best to help each other. The Salvation Army corps, church communities and key workers continue to help the most vulnerable at a time when they are needed the most. Please visit their website to learn more about The Salvation Army in Reading who, like corps across the UK and Ireland, is mobilising to support the response to the coronavirus pandemic by launching a food distribution hub: https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/salvation-army-hall-transforms-food-distribution-hub-meet-coronavirus-response

Salvation Army Trading Company will return to a normal high level of service to support all our customers to the fullest when Government restrictions are lifted.

God bless you all.

Trevor P. Caffull
Managing Director