Let’s talk about getting the shopping done!

**LATEST UPDATE** 1 May 2020

Carers in a recent Mobilise Cuppa shared a few Supermarket shopping hints and some handy numbers to call if you are struggling to get slots:

Ocado 0345 656 1234

Tesco 0800 9177359

Try entering your postcode to see slots across multiple supermarkets

Just over two weeks ago I wrote about the difficulties that carers were having getting their shopping and what the supermarkets were doing that might help. At the time I did hope things would get easier and clearer and that supermarkets would have included carers of vulnerable people very clearly in their messaging. It is all still a bit unclear.

I recognise that there is other support available but maintaining our independence is really valuable too. Some of you have cracked it and been able to get through to customer care helplines, signed up for special slots or just been patient enough to keep trying. Others have stepped out during the shopping hours for vulnerable people and shown your carers card, carers allowance letter or other form of proof.

I'm also hearing that those on the 'extremely vulnerable' list are starting to be pro-actively contacted by supermarkets and allocated a regular weekly online delivery slot.

It still remains a cause of anxiety for many so I’m sharing a checklist of what you can try. These are all things that other carers have found that work for them.

  • If the person we are caring for is “clinically extremely vulnerable”, we can register (and the see the full list ) on the government website here.

  • We can check our local council’s website (or call them) to find out what support has been arranged for vulnerable people in our area. Find your local council here.

  • Find out about local voluntary help that has been established in your community on the Covid Mutual Aid Database here.

  • If you use Apps like Facebook or Nextdoor, you might be able to find further support in your community (or others who use these apps may be able to help you). Carers are also found that small businesses like farm shops and market stall holders that are offering deliveries.

  • Check with your local carers centre to see if you can be issued with a letter or card that identifies you as a carer, this may give you confidence to shop during hours that are protected for older or vulnerable people. (Supermarkets have not specifically said how carers should identify themselves). You can find your local carers centre on the Carers Trust website.

  • Speak to family and friends let them know your concerns and see how you can support each other.

  • If you know others in your area who are also trying to get online shopping delivery slots team up and keep checking and sharing with each other when you spot slots (this is the strategy that has worked for me!)

How has the reality been of getting your shopping? Perhaps you have found solutions or that things are starting to get easier. Or maybe it has been difficult and this is getting more worrying and causing you additional anxiety. Sharing your experiences in our facebook community may help other unpaid carers and will help us at Mobilise to understand the challenges better.