The Wokingham Paper

Woosehill community champions to the rescue

IF THERE’S one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we can’t take food shopping for granted.

In the early stages of the coronavirus, there were large queues and toilet roll shortages. And when lockdown started, older people were told to shield at home, making trips to the shops next to impossible.

Although the community hub has been mothballed, there is still a need for some to get some help with their groceries. And a Woosehill superstore is doing its bit to help.

Morrisons has set up a dedicated phone line for residents of the Queen’s Gate development close to Wokingham’s railway station.

Aimed to be a lifeline for those who are vulnerable and still shielding, it follows a successful trial.

Residents call the store, and its community champions then pick the items and hand-deliver them the following day. They pay on receipt – and get a free bunch of flowers for their first order.

The aim is that Morrisons Community Champions will build connections with those in need of help, learn their preferences and support their independence.

Working in partnership with the on-site house or estate manager, each community champion will be fostering a strong support network and even friendships.

Anna Lane, who is the local director at Morrisons, said: “We launched our doorstep service for those who were vulnerable and shielding in the early stages of the pandemic.

“Customers have since told us it’s been a vital service and that’s why we’re extending the service to new communities such as McCarthy & Stone’s homeowners.”

One of those who benefited from the trial was Elsie Burrell, who lives in Oaktree Court in Tenterden, Kent.

“Morrisons doorstep delivery is such a great service,” she said.

“I am thrilled and can’t thank them enough — it has given me more independence. A big thank you to Claire and Tracy who delivered the shopping, they were absolute stars and so helpful. I’m sure we will see their friendly faces again.”

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