An air ambulance charity has begun a phased reopening of its stores.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) has announced plans to reopen its donation Warehouse and charity shops following the relaxation of government regulations introduced during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The EHAAT warehouse in Stevenage has opened for donations using bins and cages outside the building an on July 6 the charity will recommence its donation collection service.

The first of its shops will reopen in Hitchin on July 11.

Donna Lee, EHAAT’s head of retail, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming supporters back into our shops, which play such a key role in supporting this vital life-saving service.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been patient holding on to unwanted items during lockdown, but anyone wanting to donate items should please wait until the warehouse or their local EHAAT shop has opened before doing so. Staff will not be available at individual premises to accept items until they have reopened. Any items left before these dates are likely to be stolen or damaged, meaning it will cost the charity money to dispose of them.”

“We have been working hard to make it as safe for staff, volunteers and supporters. If you have taken the opportunity to have a spring clean during lockdown, we would love to receive your donations when the time is right.”