THE Cowdenbeath Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland charity shop has closed meantime due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland shut its 45 shops across Scotland at 5pm on Saturday.

The charity says that shops will be closed until further notice but they hope that their unique and much-loved chain of stores will re-open once restrictions ease, but they don’t know when that will be.

The Cowdenbeath shop at the Raith Centre is a very busy and popular part of the CHSS chain.

The closure of the charity’s shops will cost the cause £500,000 a month in income (this figure is how much the stores would generate before the coronavirus outbreak). The money generated from the shops accounts for around 50% of the charity’s income.

They are urgently calling for people’s support as they continue to help those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus during this difficult time.

Chief Executive Jane-Claire Judson, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “This virus is forcing us to make some of the hardest decisions we will ever make as we try to support people who are most vulnerable.

“We have to put the safety of the public, our staff and our volunteers first and do everything we can to stop the spread of coronavirus and ease pressure on the NHS. We have therefore decided to close our beautiful shops – until further notice.

“We have contacted all staff and volunteers. They will be supported as much as possible at this uncertain time. They are our friends and they’re part of our family at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. We are all gutted.”

Ms Judson called for people to rally to the cause to help people most at risk from the coronavirus outbreak.

She said: “This virus is threatening the lives of the people we support – they are most at risk from coronavirus. For them, we won’t give up this fight.

“Our nurses and support workers continue to support people over the phone and video-conferencing, and our network of 140 support groups are doing the same.

“Our Advice Line nurses are here to help anyone worried about coronavirus and we are looking at ways we can use our chain of shops to organise and mobilise the fight against the virus.

“But this month alone we will lose £500,000 because our shops will be shut. It’s difficult to ask at this time, but we need people to donate what they can to make sure people with chest heart and stroke conditions are supported to get through this outbreak".