As the Denby Dale Centre approached the end of the six-months of delivering special services for people isolating or shielding because of the pandemic, and do not have their own network of support. The shopping service was introduced first, been seen as the more urgent than dog walking or phone buddies, and had it's first order being placed on 19 March 2020, and now has delivered it's 1,000th shopping trip!
The Denby Dale Centre is the Community Anchor for the Mast PCN, which covers the Denby Dale and Kirkburton wards. The service had been requested to be open to all residents of Kirklees, by council leaders, which was obliged, making a difference and supporting other Community Anchors across Kirklees. The service was dominated by people living in HD8 and that is where the 1,000th shopping list came from and shopping delivered to.
The success of the shopping service, like all the covid services, was made by an amazing partnership with local covid groups, which became known as Mutual Aid Groups, or MAGs. In HD8, we worked with groups in Upper Denby, Stocksmoor, Shelley, Scissett, Clayton West, Skelmanthorpe and Lepton. The Denby Dale Centre covered any village without a MAG, and became a MAG itself to make sure that no-one was left without support.
To avoid volunteers using their own money, like many volunteers, Carol Rowatt from the Shelley MAG, uses a Denby Dale Centre Top Up Card. Volunteers like Carol have made a massive difference to peoples lives, mental health and physical wellbeing, by popping down to the local shops or over to large supermarkets. Over 300 #volunteers offered help and support, over 20 times the need in the rural area, which meant people in need could continue to keep safe at home. Thank you to everyone, including the volunteers who we could not find work for - you are ALL amazing!
Volunteers were encouraged to complete the training, specifically designed to keep them safe, based on risk assessments and national guidance. We introduced safe protocols to minimise risk as much as possible; the benefit of the service to the people in need brought significant context to understand and manage that risk. The online training portals had over 10,000 hits between the difference resources that we provided.
Mr Alan Mellon had used our shopping service for several months before he placed the 1,000th shopping order with the Denby Dale Centre. He said about the service "...this service really relieves my anxiety, and makes such a difference to my life. I have to shield, so it is nice to know that there are people out there to help me. I am 88 now, so this is ideal for me. It is nice to know my shopping is coming, because my daughter lives too far away to help [Sheffield] on a regular basis. I want to say thank you to those pleasant ladies who deliver my shopping, they make a massive difference to me...."
The service was supported by a wonderful team on the Denby Dale Centre telephone. This team dealt with many difficult situations, including people dealing with extremes of mental health or other crisis.
The future for HD8 shopping service is changing as the new shopping bus service is ready for launching, where members can be picked up from their home and taken to Morrisons and taken back home again. For members who have concerns about venturing out, a volunteer shopper will be available to do their shopping for them.
If you have any queries about this shopping service, the shopper bus, or any of the other Covid-Response, or long term, services, please call our helpline on 01484 860077.