This project will fund the application of a system to connect people in need, who are struggling to get access to fresh food and household necessities, with people who currently face redundancy and financial challenge, but are willing to help. Funds will be used to identify and support vulnerable people (e.g., older aged people, those with physical or mental health challenges, single parents); and to identify, recruit, screen and pay dedicated shoppers. We will build a legally-supported platform that safely connects these two groups, and is capable of offering necessary support, security and item tracking. We will aim to make the dedicated shoppers key-workers in their community - with priority access to local stores.
Shoppers will be individuals who have been legally screened and are able to support multiple households - reducing the number of people going out; and thus keeping our community safe.
The project is non-profit and 100% of the funds will go to the building and running of the project.
Why do we need to help?
Our society and lifestyle has undergone dramatic change as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst self-isolation under ‘lockdown’ may be particularly difficult for some vulnerable groups, risk of infection whilst accessing essential shops and pharmacies is more dangerous. Furthermore, the reduction of public transport, limited access to medication in online shopping - and great delays in ongoing shopping deliveries makes daily-life very difficult.
Why can’t someone else do it?
In these uncertain times, it is important that we help each other. Communities are already doing their best to create chains of people willing to help each other, to make sure no one is left behind. However, for some people, support from families may not be available. Social workers, support workers and community nurses are stretched, with limited availability for home visits. Support from volunteers has been vital, but is also limited, regionally specific (i.e. it depends on whether charitable people are operating in the vicinity), and not always well supported in terms of security and infrastructure. We need to create a solution, so that no one falls through the cracks. A part of this solution will be to provide a network that connects those who are struggling, with those who have suffered a loss of employment – to help each other.
My name is Dr Helena Aziri. I have been working in the UK as a psychiatrist since 2012. When I first arrived in England, I had to manage as a full time professional and a single mum of two. We had no car, and food shopping was always an expedition; with a pushchair across the town. There were no local shops nearby. In those days, I greatly appreciated online shopping! This is not an easily accessible option nowadays and I fear that many disadvantaged families may struggle when they try to get fresh groceries for their children.
Under ‘lockdown’, I have been concerned about the wellbeing of my patients on discharge and wish there were adequate support to keep them well and safe until this storm is over. Some of my patients live on their own, often with little support in the community, and often in deprived estates and food deserts. That is, whilst local corner shops are available, supermarket access and fresh food is limited, restricting healthy diet options. Given uncertainty and anxiety of the current situation, good nutrition for people with mental and physical challenges is particularly important in order to avoid further health deterioration. Please HELP, so we can help.
We are a totally non-profit grass-roots initiative and are doing this fundraising with only one aim: TO HELP PEOPLE IN NEED.
We appreciate that you have taken your valuable time to read this request, and would be very grateful if you could consider contributing to our vision.
Dr Helena Aziri and Dr Alex Sumich