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Over 200 bags of shopping delivered to vulnerable in Stoke Mandeville

A partnership between the Co-Op and Stoke Mandeville Community Support has meant those having to isolated have been fed!

Published by Dan Gooding at 7:26am 13th May 2020. (Updated at 7:19am 20th May 2020) 3-minute read.

Over 200 bags of shopping delivered to vulnerable in Stoke Mandeville

People living in Stoke Mandeville have benefited from a community group set up to help them during lockdown.

Over 200 bags of shopping have been delivered in the village, thanks to a partnership with the Co-Op.

As soon as the lockdown was announced in March, a network was started up to help friends and neighbours who would struggle to buy essential supplies because they were self-isolating.

They formed Stoke Mandeville Community Support and quickly attracted more than 80 volunteers, who signed up to deliver food and other essentials.

The group then teamed up with colleagues at their local Co-op Food store in Hawkslade Farm to provide the service.

Volunteer and local teaching assistant, Janine Sinclair, said:

"I'm not working during the lockdown and I wanted to do something to help, so I got in touch with the group.

"The Co-op staff were brilliant from the word go and have made the whole set up seamless, ensuring vulnerable people throughout the community get access to the essential foods they need.

"The main issue at the beginning was how people could pay for their shopping as they didn't have access to cash, but the store set up a telephone payment system to resolve this within 24 hours.

"Most of the people we are delivering to are older people and they are always so pleased to see us. Sometimes we are the first person they've seen for a week or more.

"Of course we maintain social distancing, but also make sure we have time to stop and have a chat!"

Co-Op

Co-op Midcounties has partnered with more than 100 local volunteering groups close to its Food stores to provide home-delivery services for vulnerable people in the communities.

It's also asking customers to tell staff in their local Co-op Food store if they know of anyone who would benefit from the service. 

They can then be linked with a local volunteering group such as Stoke Mandeville Community Support, that can deliver their shopping directly to their homes at no charge.

Safe social distancing will be maintained at all times, with shopping deliveries left on the doorstep.

Co-Op Phil Ponsonby

Phil Ponsonby, Chief Executive of Co-op Midcounties, said:

"Supporting our communities and members has, and always will be, at the heart of what we do.

"At this unprecedented time, we want to do all we can to protect those who are most vulnerable, which means helping them to stay at home and stay safe.

"I'd like to pay tribute to Janine and all the volunteers like her who are making a real difference to peoples lives, providing a link with the outside world and ensuring they have everything they need to get through the lockdown.

"If you, or anyone you know, could be helped by this scheme, please get in touch with us on 0800 435 902.

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