SHOPPERS are being urged to be kind and wear a face covering as part of a new campaign.
The Charity Retail Association (CRA) says that seven in 10 volunteers and staff helping in the goodwill stores have experienced verbal abuse from customers when asked to comply with the latest Covid-19 safety rules.
One respondent reported that an elderly volunteer was sworn and spat at, while another said that two staff members were verbally abused when reminding someone to put on a face covering, with the person then violently coughing in their faces.
One volunteer had stock thrown at them, when asking a customer to sanitise their hands upon entry to the shop.
The CRA says that abuse towards charity shop staff and volunteers appears to be on the rise, with more than half of charity shops reporting an increase in the last month.
The #ShopSafeShopKind campaign encourages people to wear a face covering as they are legally required to, unless exempt.
Robin Osterley, CRA chief executive, said: “We saw huge amounts of kindness and camaraderie from the public during lockdown, and as shops reopened, and we want to bring back this sense of togetherness.
“It is a source of sadness to us as sector that charity shop workers are being subject to abuse, especially as the majority are giving their time and skills on a voluntary basis.”
He added: “We would like to see everyone working together as a team to make it through this difficult and uncertain time, and to make charity shopping a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone. We are urging shoppers to #ShopSafeShopKind.”