Following the success of the shop-and-pay structure for people who are shielding introduced with Royal Voluntary Service, over 700 SPAR stores in England and Wales are now also supporting volunteers for three additional national charities: Marie Curie, Parkinson’s UK and RNIB.
With the help of Defra, SPAR contacted a number of national charitable organisations to see how the convenience store chain could help. As a result, a number of independent SPAR stores and company-owned SPAR stores serviced by three of SPAR’s wholesalers – AF Blakemore & Son, Appleby Westward and James Hall & Co – have extended their shop-and-pay service.
Louise Hoste, managing director of SPAR UK, said: “It is hugely important for those who are vulnerable to have access to food and deliveries. As our stores are situated in local communities, we are in an ideal position to actively promote how people can shop by using their volunteer network.
“When we heard how much pressure these charities are under trying to deal with the huge increase in the number of enquiries they are receiving, we extended our help to allow their volunteer networks to shop with ease in our stores.”
By instigating useful payment processes to support volunteers in participating stores, the charities taking part are encouraging their volunteers to use their local SPAR stores for their shopping.
A number of SPAR stores are also offering call & collect and home delivery services for people who are extremely vulnerable or self-isolating and unable to get to the shops.
This week (8-14 June) is Carers Week and SPAR is supporting the campaign by using social media to drive the awareness of carers who may need support with their shopping needs in local communities. The group is urging people to pledge their support on the Carers Week website and has circulated ACS guidance to its retailers on how to recognise and support carers.