Safe payment for volunteer shopping and at supermarkets

If you need assistance with food purchasing, there are volunteers and volunteer groups that can help. A way to find one is to join a WhatsApp volunteer group active in your ward.  

Residents of Tower Hamlets can find their ward by clicking on the following link and then join the group via WhatsApp: 

If you can’t find a group in your ward, you can search online to see what is available from legitimate and reputable companies, community organisations and charities in your area. 

WhatsApp Volunteer Groups 

Once you have joined the relevant WhatsApp volunteer group (attached is the list of the groups) and found a volunteer, it is important to:  

  • Find out the name of volunteer 
  • Ask for a picture of the volunteer to be sent via the group if possible. 
  • Ask what your payment options are for the shopping. Can you do a bank transfer, or do you need to use cash? 
  • Think of and gather enough information for the volunteer on various ways they can help you, in addition to food purchasing; e.g., collecting medicine 
  • Inform the volunteer of your food preferences. Is there any specific food you want? Do you have any dietary requirements/allergies? 
  • Inform the volunteer of any acceptable alternatives if your preferred food is not available 
  • Always ask for ID when they bring the shopping 
  • Always ask for a receipt 

Card/Contactless Payments 

To reduce physical contact, it is better to use card payments instead of cash. 

Several supermarkets are now making people pay by card. Using contactless card payment enables you to pay without physically touching the terminal.  

Contactless payments are available for purchases of up to £30 only, which is due to increase to £45 on 1st April 2020. However, the roll-out is likely be gradual, so not all shops are likely to apply this increase immediately. 

Once you have paid, remember to wipe your card down with a disinfectant wipe. 

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