Management at The Mall Blackburn have paid tribute to staff that have worked tirelessly to ensure that the centre remained partially open throughout the Covid-19 crisis to enable the local community to benefit from the services of the essential retailers.
A team of just 15 people comprising of staff from cleaning, security, management, marketing and other vital operations worked every day to make the centre a safe place to shop. Around ten stores in The Mall remained open to the public with strict social distancing being adhered to throughout.
In addition, The Mall has used its social media pages to keep the community up to date with help and advice available locally and online.
Information from Blackburn BID, Blackburn Youth Zone, The Wish Centre, The Friends of Blackburn Cathedral, BwD Help Hub and Blackburn with Darwen Council has been shared to ensure people have access to services and assistance.
Retailers that had to close have also been working to help customers. PureGym launched its ‘at home’ service so people could work out while staying in, Blackburn Market created a brand-new home delivery service and Baby Sensory Blackburn went online to deliver sessions while The Entertainer, Ryman and the Works all produced lots of fun activities to keep the kids entertained.
Of course, the real heroes of the crisis – the NHS and care teams across the UK – have also been applauded and recognised by The Mall.
Messages of thanks and reminders about the weekly clap for carers has been shared and the entire onsite team even created their own video to show their appreciation for the frontline workers. A beautiful rainbow has also been painted in The Mall as a reminder of the efforts of the NHS.
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “I have always known that I have an amazing team here at The Mall and this has been highlighted during this unprecedented time.
“They instantly adapted to the new way of working and, despite living through very worrying times, they have continued with professionalism and dedication.
“We are proud to have played a role in keeping the town going with our essential services and the customers who have visited have followed all guidelines.
“As the government releases more information and guidance on the next steps, we are planning for the days and weeks ahead, when we can welcome the reopening of more stores.
“We have really missed all our customers who have been unable to shop with us as well as our friends from the retailers that had to close, so we’re really looking forward to welcoming them back to The Mall.”
Wilko, B&M, Poundland, Boots, Holland and Barrett, Superdrug, Santander, H&T Pawnbrokers and the Post office are currently open within The Mall. Specsavers and Vision Express are operating an appointment only policy.
Now, with further easing of current measures on the horizon, The Mall is now preparing for when non-essential retailers can reopen again.
Pictures show: Loraine Jones and Jason Cothliff as well Gareth Stead-Clark and Jamie Johnson from The Mall and a picture of the NHS rainbow that has been painted in The Mall.