Newry shoppers urged to help vital heart research

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

THE British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland (BHF NI) is urging Newry shoppers to support their local store and help raise funds for vital heart research.

The BHF NI has reopened its doors to its Hill Street shop and is urging Newry shoppers to support it in its recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The store is one of eight BHF NI shops that had been closed since early March due to the pandemic.

Newry shop staff were delighted to be finally pulling up the shutters when they welcomed customers back on Monday, July 20. All eight BHF NI shops have now reopened.

BHF NI shops and stores have new measures in place to keep staff, volunteers and customers safe. This includes social distancing on the shop floor, protective equipment for staff and volunteers, and the contact free collection and processing of donated items.

Ciara McGuinness, Manager of the BHF NI Newry shop, said: “Our charity shops run purely on the support of the public, which is why we treasure every customer who shops with us. Every item we sell helps fund our vital research. 

“The coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact on our income, and we anticipate having to cut our overall research budget by around £50 million this year. Now, more than ever, we are in urgent need of public support and donations to enable us to continue to support the charity’s important work.

“Each pound raised in our eight shops helps us to support those 225,000 local people in Northern Ireland living with heart and circulatory diseases, many of whom are at increased risk from Covid-19. Your donations can help us help them.

“We are hugely grateful for the patience of all our customers and look forward to welcoming them back to shop safely.” 

The British Heart Foundation estimates the crisis has been costing it around £10 million a month, which it fears could impact its future funding for research in Northern Ireland.

The BHF NI says it’s thrilled to be reopening its doors and is asking local communities to support it by donating good quality items or popping in to snap up a bargain. Every item donated and sold will help raise vital funds for research into heart and circulatory diseases.

The charity hopes to receive good quality items that the public have been clearing out while at home - from clothes and books to vintage toys and ornaments. Every item sold will be turned into funds for life-saving research and saved from landfill.

In line with Government advice and to keep customers safe, all donations given to the BHF will now be rested for 72 hours before being placed on the shop floor. Customers will also be able to donate at new contact-free donation points set up at every BHF NI shop entrance.

For smaller donations, the BHF has also launched a new postal donation service, making it even easier to donate without hitting the high street.

Just £16 worth of your donations can support an early career scientist in carrying out an hour’s research and £25 gives a researcher an hour’s access to equipment. If your donations raised £100, this would fund a DNA extraction kit to identify genes linked to heart and circulatory diseases. 

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