Following the government guidelines, as a ‘non-essential’ retail business, Storeroom2010’s furniture re-use charity shop and warehouse were obliged to close during both lockdown periods. With the charity being so dependent on walk-in customers, we were not able to operate any alternative service during those times.

From June, the charity shop and warehouse were able to re-open and sales steadily progressed back to normal levels. Unfortunately, other furniture re-use charities on the island struggled with volunteer issues.

With the SASC loan … we did not have to worry about any landlord related issues during the COVID-19 lockdowns

With the SASC loan in 2016, we had become the owner of the property where the charity is based. As a result, we did not have to worry about any landlord related issues during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

To further protect the charity’s future as much as possible, we furloughed the maximum number of staff. For all but one week of the first lockdown we had just one member of admin staff working. For the second lockdown the assistant manager worked alone, ensuring all the various tasks were completed as required and keeping all staff and volunteers updated with as much information as possible.

We were very pleased that our staff were able to receive 80% of their wages using the Government scheme for both lockdown periods and we also were able to receive the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme monies for both our main premises and the premises we own where our Community Project, The Cowes Men’s Shed is based.

Despite the challenges, staff morale has remained strong. Staff elected to use up their remaining holidays during the second lockdown, which now means that we are looking forward to a fresh start in the New Year.

Nick Miller CEO, Storeroom2010