Willen Hospice has opened its Bletchley high street shop as a temporarily repurposed outlet providing a vital local community service to elderly, vulnerable and NHS customers.

The shop will stock non-perishable store cupboard essentials, and provide an alternative shopping experience for people in these groups, while at the same time as raising vital funds for the hospice.

Customer access to the shop is being controlled and numbers limited, hand sanitiser is available for customers’ use, and a protective screen has been installed on the till.

When shopping, customers are asked to observe the 2m rule with regard to social distancing.

Essential grocery items being stocked in the store will range from canned foods and dry goods to cleaning products, toilet paper, soap, UHT long-life milk, biscuits and drinks.

Mark Rawlins, Commercial Director at Willen Hospice, said, “All the stock we’re selling has been generously donated by businesses in Milton Keynes. I cannot thank Tesco enough for rallying around us to gift these enormous quantities of items for us to resell at the same price as in their stores.

“With all our shops currently shut and the staff furloughed, we are facing a significant loss in revenue.

“This is a perfect example of business supporting charity in a time of need. They’re helping us to support the vulnerable and give something back to our local community in the knowledge that all funds raised by this activity support the front line care at the Hospice.”

Kirsty Francis, Area Manager for Buckinghamshire, said, “We’ve been delighted to help Willen Hospice with donations from our stores across Milton Keynes. I’m very proud of the store teams who pulled together to make this happen and we all send our best wishes to the team at Willen and their new temporary store.”

The shop will be open from 10am – 3pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. To reduce the risk of infection for customers and colleagues, customers are requested to provide their own shopping bags for added safety, and contactless payment is encouraged wherever possible.