Charity clients return to independent shopping as lockdown nears its end


Shop Assist Coordinator Charlotte Atkinson

Local charity Ilkley and District Good Neighbours is reporting that a number of clients who have been receiving its Shop and Drop service during the lockdown are slowly returning to independent shopping.


Whilst grateful for everything the Shop and Drop volunteers have done, these clients are keen to shop for themselves again, something which the charity wholeheartedly supports. Over the last year the charity’s volunteers have supported almost 60 clients and delivered an impressive 1,245 shops.


“We’re delighted that some of our clients are now feeling confident enough to shop for themselves again,” said Shop Assist Coordinator Charlotte Atkinson “It’s so important that as many as feel able can regain their independence. Our team of dedicated volunteers have played a vital role in maintaining access to fresh food and groceries for our clients during these difficult months and will continue to do so for those who need it even as lockdown restrictions are eased.”


Former Shop and Drop client Steve Betts said: “I’m pleased to be able to get out and about once more and discovering that doing the weekly shopping can actually be a pleasure rather than a chore.


“We’ve been delighted with the help that our Shop and Drop volunteer Sarah has given to us over recent months. She quickly realised the sort of things we like, or might need if what we’ve put on our shopping list isn’t available. Not only has Sarah been a help but she’s also become a friend who we will keep in touch with.


Another former Shop & Drop client, Steve Broadbent, said: “When the lockdown began over a year ago we were fortunate to read about Ilkley Good Neighbour’s services thanks to an article online. Over the next nine months we had the most excellent delivery of groceries from Peter, our brilliant Shop and Drop volunteer.


“I must admit we got rather addicted to what he could do for us and it took us some time to realise we could do it for ourselves, once we got used to the privations of lockdown.


Steve added: “We’re now happily self-sufficient with online ordering and delivery and hopefully won’t need help again, but you never know with this pandemic.”


As well as continuing to offer Shop and Drop the charity is looking at ways to support new and existing clients to return to independent shopping. When car-sharing is permitted they will be offering the Shop Assist service, which covers everything from transport to and from the supermarket, a helping hand with the shopping, and assistance with unpacking it at home. While car-sharing remains restricted the charity is looking at ways to supply volunteer support for clients in the supermarket if they can make their own way there.


“This could involve help with reaching items, reading labels, and generally offering a bit of moral support to getting used to being back out in public.” said Charlotte.


“Research shows that maintaining a person’s independence for as long as possible benefits that individual’s physical and mental health. We’re glad that we can play a role in that.”


If you would like to know more about the Shop Assist service you can contact Charlotte Atkinson on 07367 065255.

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