Central England Co-op joins scheme to help vulnerable Lichfield residents

The scheme could be replicated by Central England Co-op across its 16 trading counties

Lichfield District Council is working with Central England Co-operative to provide food and essentials to vulnerable people in the local community.

As part of the initiative, the co-op is launching a community hub at its Boley Park Food Store, in collaboration with council workers.

The council will identify vulnerable community members, gather orders and pass them onto the store. Central England Co-op colleagues will then create a package and take payment from the customer over the phone before the local authority delivers the goods. The orders will be left in a secure place and the delivery driver will witness from a distance to ensure the delivery is received by the customer. 

A first in the country, the scheme could be replicated by Central England Co-op across the 16 counties it trades in.

Debbie Robinson, chief executive of Central England Co-op, said: “Co-operation is key to our communities coming together during this uncertain time and this is why we have linked up with Lichfield District Council to launch this pioneering scheme during this uncertain time.

“This unique project will see the council contact vulnerable people in the community and work with us to deliver food and essentials to them.

“This is a great example of communities and organisations coming together at a time of need and creating a solution that will make a difference.

“We have no doubt that this will be a success and have further plans in place to rapidly roll out this out across other locations to make sure we support as many people as we can.”

Cllr Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Housing, said: “We’re really pleased to be part of this trial and look forward to helping our residents who are most in need.

“As we have limited capacity, we are prioritising this service for our residents across the district who are self-isolating and have no one who can help them with their shopping and essential items.

“This is a great example of local government and the private sector coming together in difficult times to offer innovative solutions to support the local community.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “I am proud of all those playing a part in this new scheme and, after participating in a training session remotely, I will be joining council officers in phoning residents who may be at risk to see if we can help them. This is a huge group effort and it’s all hands on deck to help our residents in this time of need.”