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Open for business – Moray Reach Out store back after Covid shutdown

By Alan Beresford

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GLAD to be back – that was the message coming loud and clear from a Buckie-based charity after they reopened their shop following four long months of lockdown.

Moray Reach Out (MRO), whose headquarters are situated in the former Cruickshank's store on East Church Street, were offering both warm welcomes and bargains aplenty when the doors of their thrift shop opened at 9.30am last Wednesday.

The team of eight volunteers were back in force although one vital component of the normal team – the trainees, who are vulnerable adults – were missing as current Covid safety regulations do not permit their return quite yet.

One of those glad to be back in the groove was team leader Karen McKilligan.

"We're all absolutely delighted to be back, it's been a long, hard four months for everybody," she said.

"Our opening day was fantastic, a lot of people turned up and we had plenty of bargains for them.

"It's taken over a month to put the measures in place which have allowed us to open safely. However, it's been worth it and the place is looking good.

"Unfortunately, we're not allowed to have the trainees back just yet although they're chomping at the bit to return. Like the rest of us they've really missed it.

"People have been really generous with their donations over the lockdown. We've always been lucky with the support we've had, a lot of it is because we are a local charity and the majority of our trainees are from the area, too. The trainees, like the volunteers, are hugely dedicated and love it here, they're an example to us all."

Mrs McKilligan added that she and her team were looking forward to extending the opening times of the shop when lockdown restrictions were eased further, hopefully in August.

MRO general and business development manager Shona Radojkovic said: "We were overwhelmed with the generosity of donations from across Moray and thank them for their ongoing support.

"The staff and volunteers from the various projects have pulled together to get the shop presentable and safe, ready for opening and I can't thank them enough for doing so."

She went on to say that the team were busy sorting through the donations made to the shop and asked those considering making a donation if they could possibly hold on to their items for a short while if at all possible to allow the current intake to be processed and made ready for display.

MRO's thrift shop is currently open Wednesday to Friday from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

For updates on store opening times and other MRO projects, follow the charity's Facebook page.

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