Last Monday a number of Coronavirus restrictions were lifted allowing “non-essential” shops, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to reopen, at least in part.
I know many residents have been keen to support local businesses and get back to a sense of normality. Many have enjoyed drinks in pub gardens and the weight has been taken off many shoulders by barbers in Horsham!
Shops selling “non-essential” products have really suffered as have so many companies. During lockdown, many have used our enforced isolation to have a clear out and have been keen for the charity shops to reopen to be able to make donations. Last week the Salvation Army made record sales when they reopened on the 12th and Cancer Research UK took half a million pounds, much needed and double their expectation.
We have charity shops both within Horsham and in the surrounding villages raising vital funds for the charities, many of which have lost a substantial amount of money this year due to the inability to carry out fundraising events.
Charity shops not only help charitable causes, but they also help the planet. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world and in the UK, every week, 13 million items of clothes are sent to landfill. West Sussex County Council estimated that in 2017/18 £1.7million was spent sending textiles for disposal in West Sussex.
Where reuse isn’t an option there are a number of these textile recycling banks across the District and the Recycle Now website can be used to find where specific items, including textiles, can be recycled: https://www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling
I do wish all of our local businesses the very best as they reopen and welcome back customers.
The sincere hope of all involved is that by taking a cautious approach to reopening shops and other aspects of society, not only will they get to reopen but stay open. 33 million have now received their first vaccine dose and 10 million both doses – with a 94 per cent take-up in over 50’s. Scientists have been deeply impressed with the effectiveness of the vaccine – with only 32 patients being hospitalised from Covid after vaccination.
The data at present suggests we should have every confidence that the four tests will be met and the further relaxation of lockdown should proceed as planned.
We need however to continue to keep Covid suppressed – as with other viruses there is an ongoing risk of further waves which is why continuing to develop and evolve the vaccines and potential drugs to help prevent hospitalisation, both of which are being worked on, is so important.