Lots of volunteers, not much organisation?

The York Council has been criticised in the wake of its claim that 1400 people had volunteered to be local corona virus helpers. Critics say there are inadequate processes are in place to channel volunteers’ efforts into providing the right help for the right people in a timely way.

Many had expected that an “online” system would be available by now which minimised human contact while allowing the vulnerable to order and pay for food and medicines remotely.

With many supermarkets closing their “click and collect” services, and home delivery slots booked up for many weeks in advance, an alternative approach using local taxis and courier cyclists is needed.

The latter groups have seen their income eroded by the crisis. Some local businesses, including taxi drivers, have said that they would be happy to cooperate with such a system.

Any online system must allow customers to

  1. Choose their shopping remotely
  2. Have it bagged
  3. Pay for it – inclusive of delivery – “online”
  4. Have it delivered to their doorstep?

At the moment only a few small independent shops seem to be addressing this demand.

NB. The Council has not yet responded to a request that it publish a regular monitor of the food supply chain from “field to doorstep”. Such information as has been published, for example regarding stock availability at local stores, has been researched by sections of the media.

Job availability on farms (and even for key worker vacancies like refuse collectors with the Council) is also difficult to find online.

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