Shop and Drop scheme helps vulnerable people

Published: Friday, May 1, 2020

The council is working with the charity Generate on a scheme to support vulnerable people with their shopping.

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The charity, based in Summerstown, noticed that its clients who have a learning disability who can normally manage to get their own groceries and prescriptions were really struggling during the lockdown.

It got in touch with Wandsworth Council adult social care staff, and the Shop and Drop scheme was created for Generate’s learning disabled clients and all Wandsworth residents who are self-isolating and in need.

Volunteers shop on behalf of clients and then deliver the groceries to their door. All volunteers have been identity checked after offering their support through the council's Covid-19 volunteer portal.  The council has provided them with council ID and a letter to ensure they can get multiple items if they are shopping for more than one person. It has also helped fund the scheme with a grant from the emergency Covid-19 Response Fund, which has provided £100,000 to local community and voluntary groups.

62-year-old Carrie (pictured above) has a learning disability, mobility issues, arthritis and diabetes. She is fiercely independent and lives on her own. She found shopping difficult as people started stockpiling, but Generate and their volunteers were able to buy ingredients for the things that she enjoys making, such as lamb curry and fish stew, and treats that are suitable for her diabetes, like sugar-free jelly.

Carrie said: “It’s hard to stay alone but I’ve been doing some art and made my own rainbow to put in my window for the NHS workers.”

 “What’s important about Shop and Drop is that it’s personalised,” said Generate’s chief executive Beverley Dawkins OBE. “Some of the people we support are less able than others to cook so we made sure we provided a selection of ready meals that they could easily prepare. Knowing how to adapt to meet each person’s needs a big part of what we do at Generate so it’s good to be able to use those skills to help other too.

“We are very pleased that a number of local volunteers have come forward to help us. They are helping us to reach even more people. At Generate we are all about connecting people to their local communities so perhaps one good thing to come out of the crisis is that we will have made some new friends who in turn have had the opportunity to get to know some of great Generate members better.

Cllr Melanie Hampton, Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “When Generate came to us with their idea we were keen to work with them. They have a huge amount of experience helping the borough’s most vulnerable residents and we knew we could trust them to run this scheme smoothly and safely.

“I’d also like to thank all the local people who stepped up to volunteer. Visiting supermarkets at this time is a stressful experience, and we simply couldn’t do this without the people who giving up their time to go shopping and deliver this food.”