Co-op sprints into action to support the most vulnerable through nationwide running clubs

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Community retailer, Co-op, has launched a nationwide payment solution and volunteer matching support scheme to get groceries delivered to those that are self-isolating due to coronavirus.

By working with Local Authorities and local community groups across the country including running club, parkrun, the retailer is able to connect its most vulnerable customers with a volunteer to shop and deliver vital food supplies, whilst using a safe and secure payment solution.

A dedicated telephone line (08000 294 592) is available for the most vulnerable in the community to call and purchase a Co-op community shopping card, enabling them to give funds to those shopping on their behalf without having to take out money or provide bank details. Through Co-op’s volunteer matching scheme, each customer will also be offered the help of a runner or volunteer in their area to pick up and deliver their groceries on their behalf.

Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO, said: “We know there are many customers who are unable to reach our stores to get vital supplies and we are pleased to be able to offer these customers a safe and simple payment solution. We appreciate that there are a huge amount of people who want to help but just don’t know how. Now more than ever is the time for co-operation and we are working with the government and all of our local communities and partners to best support those that are in need and ensure nobody goes without food.

“Through these great partnerships and getting help from our Co-op Members we hope we are making it as easy as possible for our customers who are unable to leave their homes to feel supported and get the supplies they need without needing to worry about how to pay for the goods.”

The free community run, parkrun, is encouraging its runners to volunteer through Co-op and help deliver food to those who are unable to leave the home, whilst still being able to keep fit.

The Co-op has recently launched Co-operate, an online community centre to lessen the impact of the lockdown on people’s mental health and connects those wanting to volunteer and vulnerable people to local and national support initiatives, as well as those who are willing to run virtual events such as exercise classes, music groups, or arts & crafts classes for others. Those who can volunteer, require help or know someone who does, are encouraged to visit Co-operate at https://co-operate.coop.co.uk/support