Become Part of the Team as a Shop and Stop Worker
If you are interested in helping to provide practical assistance for older and vulnerable people, then you may well be interested in the Shop and Stop Service.
How does it work?
The Shopping Service operates throughout South Sefton and provides a volunteer-led shopping delivery service for older people and others who struggle to manage their own shopping. The service is administered by a member of staff but most of the work is undertaken by a team of volunteers. Each customer is contacted by telephone and a shopping list agreed. The shopping is then delivered on the agreed day and usually put away for the customer by the volunteer. We try to ensure that the same volunteer is used for each delivery. This means that a degree of befriending can take place and the customer also does not have to worry about different people coming in and out of his or her home.
The befriending is nearly as important as the shopping in many cases because so many of those on our shopping list do not see many people during the week. The volunteers will have a conversation with the customer and in some cases will make a cup of tea. This means that volunteers are able to pick up problems and alert us to them before they get out of hand.
Why is it important?
For people with limited mobility and without transport getting to and from supermarkets is a real problem. Smaller local shops do not carry the range of the supermarkets – particularly as regards fresh food – and they are more expensive. For those living on a restricted income, increased expenditure on the weekly shop means a reduction in quality and, sometimes, quantity.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 people over 65 living in the community are malnourished or at risk of being malnourished. One of the reasons cited for this problem is the difficulty of actually getting to the shops faced by older people (The Malnutrition Task Force, 2013).
These are just a couple of the reasons that the Feelgood Factory has carried on providing the Shopping Service despite the fact that we have no regular financial support for it. It is probably one of the most important services we provide and it would just not be possible at all without our team of volunteers.
There are several volunteer roles available:
- If you like talking to people on the phone, and don’t mind taking lists, then we are always looking for administrators. This job can be done in your own home or in our office. You will be given a list of customers to call for their shopping lists. In all honesty, often the chat is as important as the shopping for many people.
- Most shopping is delivered by car. If you can drive and have access to a vehicle, we are always looking for drivers to deliver shopping to customers, check they are all right and be a friendly face for them.
- If you don’t have a car but wouldn’t mind delivering shopping on foot, we can match you up with customers who live near to the Feelgood Factory.
- For those who would like to help but don’t want to do the “front-line” work, we also need distribution volunteers to help sort out and bag the food when it comes in to us ready for the shoppers to deliver.
Whatever role or roles you fancy, you would be part of a really important service to vulnerable people in the community.
For more information download the role descriptions or phone Linda on 291 8010 for a chat.