Helping the Vulnerable with Walsall Academy in Coronavirus Lockdown
Published 23 May 2020 in Community
Co-op Midcounties has joined forces with staff at Walsall Academy to deliver essential supplies to vulnerable people in the town during lockdown.
While the Academy is still open to the children of key workers, the majority of students are currently learning from home.
With some staff facing reduced demands on their time, the Academy has encouraged colleagues to volunteer to support vulnerable people living in isolation, also donating use of the Academy’s minibus to make deliveries.
Volunteers collect orders from the local Co-op Midcounties Food stores at The Bridge, Lichfield Road and Bloxwich, where customers can place and pay for their orders over the phone, and deliver them across Walsall.
Simon Woodward, member of staff at Walsall Academy, said: “The Academy has been in lockdown for some weeks now and the majority of teaching is happening remotely.
“Staff are coming into school on a rota system to teach key workers’ children, and we are continuing to support students with vouchers for free school meals.
“But when Co-op Midcounties approached us to help old and vulnerable people who were struggling in the community, we wanted to help in whatever way we could.
“Some people haven’t got anyone, so it’s reassuring to know that someone’s looking out for them. Even if we are only able to spend a few minutes with them, it can make a big difference to see a friendly face and have a chat.”
Co-op Midcounties has partnered with more than 60 local volunteering groups and over 700 volunteers close to its Food stores to provide home delivery services for vulnerable people in the communities.
It’s also asking customers to tell staff in their local Co-op Food store if they know of anyone who would benefit from the service.
They can then be linked with a trusted local volunteering group like Walsall Academy that can deliver their shopping directly to their homes at no charge.
Safe social distancing will be maintained at all times, with shopping deliveries left on the doorstep.
Phil Ponsonby, Chief Executive of Co-op Midcounties, said: “Supporting our communities and members is at the heart of what we do, and always will be.
“During these testing times, we’ll continue to do all we can to protect those who are most vulnerable, which means helping them to stay at home and stay safe.
“Walsall Academy is an organisation we have a longstanding relationship with and it’s been great to see their colleagues volunteering to support our home delivery scheme and play an even bigger role in the community beyond their already excellent work with pupils.
“If you, or anyone you know, could be helped by our home delivery scheme, please get in touch with us on 0800 435 902.”
Walsall Academy has a longstanding partnership with Co-op Midcounties, which has sponsored a number of pupil trips to locations from Snowdonia to Africa and Mount Everest as part of its Green Pioneers programme, an initiative designed to support learning about environmental issues, help students develop new skills and improve their confidence.
Co-op Midcounties Food stores will continue to run a priority shopping hour from 9.30 – 10.30 Monday to Friday for carers of the elderly and vulnerable, as well as NHS workers.
To find your local Co-op Food store please see here.