The Bircham Centre is taking the first steps to reopening the building in Market Place, Reepham, which has been closed since the coronavirus lockdown was announced in March.
The charity shop is currently moving across to the art room on the ground floor as this allows one-way access through the shop; customers will exit via the garden door.
The shop will have hand-sanitiser available on entry and has purchased a contactless card machine.
There will also be signage and floor markers in place to ensure a safe environment; volunteers have rallied to help put this in place.
The “new” shop will open from 9 am – 1 pm on Thursdays from 9 July, initially just once a week, but it is hoped to increase the frequency soon.
Reepham Library does not yet have an opening date and the Bircham Centre cannot open its book room because of access concerns.
However, as many people have re-read everything on their bookshelves, second-hand book sales will be brought out into the open: a stall will be held in the Market Place on Wednesday 8 July from 9 am – 12 noon.
Many people have contacted the Bircham Centre to say they have been clearing out and have donations ready.
Although these are greatly appreciated as they represent the centre’s main income, residents are asked not to bring them yet: all donations now have to be quarantined for 72 hours.
The Bircham Centre has limited storage and there are additional difficulties owing to the fact that many organisations are no longer collecting.
The former shop will be repurposed as an isolation room and it is planned to have specific donation days when items can be dropped off. There will also be a list published of items that cannot be taken now.
Residents are requested to hang on to donations for a little longer. It is hoped an initiative will be devised to allow everyone to recycle as much as possible and still support the centre.
Meanwhile, the Bircham Garden remains closed until restoration works to the wall that adjoins Pudding Pie Alley are completed. This long-running project should be finished within the next two weeks.