DELIVERY SERVICESI have been contacted by a number of my constituents about food delivery issues. I have also been contacted by a number of local small business owners who are worried about the impact on the foot trade they depend on to survive. I am very concerned about both issues and hoping to help alleviate both of them by connecting the two groups to each other.My office has started to compile a list of local businesses offering home delivery or other special services. I have reached out to many stores directly, and have asked our Lib Dem councillors and activists to feed through information from their neighbourhoods. I am also working with the chambers of commerce in both Richmond and Kingston on this, and local town centre managers.I have started a list on my website at https://www.saraholneymp.org.uk/covid-19-resources and will add to it as more information arrives. If you own, or know of, a business in my constituency offering delivery or other special services, please email the details to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.As for the major food retailers, Waitrose rang me today to say that they are moving staff members from their John Lewis stores into Waitrose to help with the demand for deliveries and open up more slots.We are also asking people to let us know about businesses that are introducing designated early-morning trading hours for elderly or vulnerable customers, so those who need to shop in person can do so with minimized risk of exposure.LATEST ON VOLUNTEERING IN KINGSTON AND RICHMONDI spoke with Kingston Voluntary Action today, who are working to coordinate with local voluntary groups in the area. If you are able to assist in your community, please contact KVA by phone on 020 8255 3335 and register your details with them. There will be a meeting tomorrow, coordinated by Iona Lidington, Kingston’s Director of Public Health, to identify needs and determine how best to meet them.Message from Richmond Council for Voluntary Service (CVS): Richmond CVS asks Richmond residents who are interested in volunteering to please register on their site, and specify that you are ready to help with COVID19. Volunteers who are already registered with them can update their volunteer profile to include this. The registration form can be found at: https://richmondcvs.org.uk/richmond-volunteering/Both groups ask for your patience as they are currently working to identify local needs and priorities, so you may not hear back from them immediately. But volunteering opportunities will increase over the coming weeks, and they are grateful for all offers to assist.
Lastly, please remember there may be people on your road in need of help who are not elderly, so please try to look out for other people in need.