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Shopping for Shielding Neighbours

An estimated 1.5 million clinically vulnerable people have been contacted by the NHS and asked to shield, meaning they cannot leave their homes and must socially distance themselves from anyone else living in their house.

In this blog we take a look at some of the ways those who are shielding can still shop for food and essential items.

Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash
Government & NHS response

Anyone who has been asked to shield can register for help and assistance with their food shopping by calling a dedicated helpline. The UK Government has also arranged for food parcels to be delivered to those shielding who do not have their own support networks or means to get food delivered.

Volunteer & community response

Over 1 million people have registered to volunteer for the NHS at this time, including a high proportion of young people, according to the Guardian. The Royal Voluntary Service in partnership with the NHS is coordinating the volunteers effort, which includes those classed as ‘Community Response Volunteers’ who help with delivery of food, medicines and other essential items to shielding people.

Supermarket & business response

Most of the large supermarkets have begun to offer e-vouchers or pre-pay gift cards as a way for people to safely pay for their shopping via the person who is actually shopping for them. While it is a credit to these large organisations that they’ve put forward a solution, creating a physical solution such as plastic cards or paper e-vouchers doesn’t address the risks associated with just passing cash between people (see our blog: Time to go Cashless?). UK Finance has an interactive tool where you can find and view the different ways you can pay for shopping during this time, and we were pleased to see Collctiv featured in NAVCA’s recent blog as a payment method for volunteers.

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Collctiv can help volunteers to safely take payments from those for whom they are shopping at this time. Because the volunteer simply creates a pot and shares a payment link via any communication channel (like WhatsApp, text, Facebook Messenger), they are protected from handing out their bank details to people. Because the clinically vulnerable person only has to tap to pay with their card or Apple/Google Pay, they are protected from increased risk of coronavirus transmission that comes with handling cash, pre-paid gift cards or paper e-vouchers.

Why not try it for yourself and see how easy it is to collect money from friends, family and neighbours - download the app here.

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