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Photo Caption: Heather Rowlinson says seeing Topshop up close is “heartbreaking”.

Covid-19 has been hit by almost every sector, but Britain’s High Street has been hit hard.

Last year there was a loss of nearly 10,000 UK stores and accountants PwC warned that the full impact of the outbreak was not yet felt.

As unnecessary stores set to reopen next week, BBC Radio 5 was heard by some of the workers affected by the closure.

Heather Rowlinson, 54, from Newcastle, has worked at Topshop for 34 years and has been a manager for 30 years.

She remains unemployed and “Really miss my team, there is no structure of getting up every day and going to work and finding it very difficult to get answers from the applications I do.”

She said she felt “deceived” by the recruiting companies and companies telling her they had a job for her and would not call back.

“You keep the ring back, they don’t answer your call,” she said.

Photo Caption: Amy Dwyer says it is difficult to find a new job.

Amy Dwyer, 21, worked at Debenhams in Manchester’s Trafford Center while studying politics at the University of Manchester.

When she lost her job in May, she had to give up student accommodation a month earlier and move back with her family in Preston.

She spent four or five months looking for another job. She now works in the university’s career services providing CV advice to other students.

Amy thinks affordable downtown housing is the key to getting life back into High Streets.

“High Streets won’t recover until we have more people living in it,” she said. “You see big developments being built, and only 50% of these are affordable housing.”

Read the full story here.




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