Covid-19: Spar helps NHS volunteers shop for vulnerable customers

Symbol group Spar has partnered with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) to help with its NHS Volunteer Responders Programme. Spar has said it is the first UK convenience retailer to join the scheme.

More than 750,000 people have signed up to be NHS Volunteer Responders, which can include supporting – and shopping for – a vulnerable person during the Covid-19 crisis. They will now be able to conduct these shopping trips at more than 700 Spar stores. A majority of company-owned stores and some independent retailers which operate under the Spar name are taking part as designated retailers.

Doctors, nurses, those working in local authorities and other professionals, are able to refer people to NHS Volunteer Responders. The programme enables volunteers to support the vulnerable person via the GoodSam Responder app.

Spar UK Managing Director Louise Hoste said: “We are very happy to partner with the RVS at this crucial time when they are coordinating the NHS Volunteer Responders programme. Spar stores around the UK are doing all they can to support their local communities and this programme is another way in which we can help. Using their ID, volunteers on the programme are able to take the shopping list from a vulnerable person to a participating Spar store, and know they can shop and pay. We hope to see the number of Spar stores in England participating in this to increase and thousands of vulnerable people benefiting from this service.”

“We are incredibly grateful to Spar stores for adjusting their systems to enable our volunteers to shop for vulnerable people in their community. Many people will rely on shopping support from our NHS Volunteer Responders and this payment solution will work well for our volunteers,” added RVS director of services and CEO Sam Ward.

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