Volunteers buy and deliver groceries for most vulnerable

Tue, 14/04/2020

A huge new volunteer shopper service has been launched by Westminster City Council this week with many of the city’s Westminster Connects volunteers buying and delivering food to vulnerable residents.

Nearly 100 households across the city have already received a weekly shop – with volunteers delivering the groceries straight to their doorstep.

Self-isolating or shielded residents simply provide the council with a shopping list, which is then assigned to one of the volunteers to purchase the groceries.

The shopping is then delivered to one of two hubs in the city for one of our Super Shoppers, with an enhanced DBS check, to deliver straight to the residents’ door.

The council takes care of ordering and has negotiated priority access to local stores for the Westminster Connects volunteers.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, visited one of the two packing hubs at Dryburgh House to help the volunteers pack the shopping before being delivered.

Cllr Robathan said: “Getting the shopping is a major hurdle for those self-isolating, shielding, or who have difficulty getting out.

“I have been so impressed by the volunteers who are signing up to help our Westminster Connects shopping scheme - we have already delivered to more than a hundred homes and I know there are hundreds more volunteers who want to help.

“These are anxious times for all of us, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Our extraordinary volunteers are going to great effort to bring shopping to the front door – making life a little bit easier for people in need.”

Fr Andrew Gallagher, precentor of Westminster Cathedral, was volunteering at the hub today and said:

“It’s really rewarding going to visit people and drop their shopping off. You step back as you ring the doorbell and it’s great just to see people so grateful that you’ve delivered their food for them. Obviously, they don’t see anyone else so they’re quite pleased just to say hello to someone.”

Last updated: 14 April 2020