Volunteer Advice – Shopping

Paying for shopping

We also recommend that volunteers not make purchases larger than £30 for any one person or family in self-isolation. For larger shops, consider if click & collect, or the volunteer card options. We strongly encourage volunteers not to accept credit/debit cards from people asking for help in order to buy resources on their behalf as this is a safeguarding risk.

  • Ask them to give you a shopping list via phone call, text or WhatsApp before you go to the shop. Often the Volunteer Coordinator will guide you on the preferred contact method.
  • Agree whether or not they will accept substitutions.
  • Ask if they have any allergies or dietary requirements.

We all want to help people in need, and sometimes volunteers refuse reimbursement if they have been shopping, as a kind gesture. We do discourage this, as it leads to confusion about the nature of the group and could put future volunteers coming to help this person in an awkward situation. If you really want to pay, please make it clear that you as an individual have decided to do so, even though it is against the advice of the group.

There are 3 key options for paying

  • Prepayment for shopping and volunteer collects
  • Volunteer card is used at a specific supermarket
  • Volunteer pays for the shopping upfront and the resident reembuses the volunteer

Prepaid Shopping

There are two main options

Click & collect slot with a specific supermarket. They will be given an order/collection number and a timed collection slot. They give you this information and you quote the number and collect the shopping.

Co-op phone and collect. We have an arrangement with the Co-op on the Parade in Leamington. Residents or their relatives phone the Co-op direct (01926 335931) with their shopping list. The Co-op pick their shopping and the resident pays for the shopping with their bank card phone. The Co-op then notify the Mutual Aid co-ordinator team who arrange for a volunteer to collect. Your co-ordinator will provide you with the name and address of the residnet that you need to provide when you collect the shopping.

Supermarket Volunteer Cards

Most of the supermarkets have created new volunteer gift cards. Their aim is so that any volunteer can use the card for shopping and the name of the volunteer using it does not have to be entered, and can be used by multiple volunteers if needed

They can all be ordered on-line although a resident could ask a friend or family member to buy one on their behalf in store.

ASDA – This is the only one that can be topped up on-line. It is only available as an e card. https://cards.asda.com/volunteer

SAINSBURYS – This is available as an e-card or as a physical card that is posted out. https://sainsburysgiftcard.com

TESCO – This is only available as a physical card that is posted out. https://voucherexpress.co.uk/giftcard/tesco-gift-card.aspx

M&S – This is only available as an e-card https://marksandspencer.com/all-in-this-together

ALDI – https://vouchers.aldi.co.uk

MORRISONS – This is available as either an e-card or a physical card. https://morrisons.cashstar.com

Volunteer pays for the shopping upfront and the resident reembuses

To reduce the risk of fraud, we recommend that wherever possible you do your shopping and come back with a receipt before asking for money from people in self-isolation. You should take a photo of the receipt.

Electronic transfer – Where possible payments should be made by bank transfer or paypal to minimise the risk of passing on the virus.

Cash – If that’s not possible to pay with either paypal or bank transfer and have to use cash please ask the resident to put the cash in a plastic bag preferably a zip lock bag and disinfect the money using warm soapy water. (Don’t forget to dispose of the bag)

Cheque – If none of the above are an option then you could consider a cheque. However remember that not all bank branches are open and it does often take a few days for a cheque to “clear”. A number of bank apps allow you to scan and pay in a cheque (HSBC, Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds and Starling Bank at the time of writing)

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