- 8 call centre operators
- 6 pickers
- 3 drivers
- 48 regular customers
- 4000 items delivered so far
We live in interesting times……Shop St.Mawes was born out of it!
We wanted to:
- Ensure that those most vulnerable to the Virus, and those self- isolating could continue to get their daily necessities, risk free.
- Ensure that as far as possible that the risk to the shops in St.Mawes both health wise and financially were minimised.
- Be able to ensure the village still had access to food supplies if things got really bad.
We had no idea how long or how bad the situation would or could get, or who our customers would be. Remembering the Great British Loo Roll Rush, whether the shortages that were being reported would become permanent. How easy is it to forget that panic buying.? Thankfully thus far our worst fears have not been realised, and the wine and other essentials have continued (with the exception of Marmite) to flow, with a few hiccups! No puns intended.
From the outset we had a huge number of volunteers, willing to give their time to take orders, collect and then deliver items. We expected in a worse case to have to deliver for up to 50 people a day, and the goal was always to ramp up our capacity to do so, at the same time minimise the risk of exposure to any of the volunteers. It was also important that the burden should be spread so that no volunteer had to do more than a couple of hours a week.
With some 48 regular customers, Shop St.Mawes has now delivered nearly 4,000 items. This is separate from deliveries made by individual shops themselves.
The supply chain did not collapse as had been forecast. The community rallied around and an army of selfless shoppers for friends and family made the daily or weekly trek into the village to buy and deliver, quite independently of any formally organised group. The shops themselves were able to organise their own deliveries. With Shop St.Mawes always ready to fill the gaps and pick up the slack of needed.
So how do we work? Eight super enthused order takers manning a dedicated phone and email line generously provided by the St.Mawes hotel from where we operate. This has been enhanced by a generous loan of laptops, printers and purpose designed software boosting our capability.
Items are collected from the shops the next morning by 6 dedicated shoppers operating from the St. Mawes Memorial Hall, where chilled goods can be safely kept and organised for delivery by another separate team of 3 drivers. with the Post Office very kindly providing banking services we are able to take BACS and cheque payments as well as cash.
How long will we continue – as long as we are needed, the one thing we know we can rely on is the humour and generosity of our volunteers and the support of our shops.
As we see the return of online deliveries by the high street chains, we hope that the efforts made by the community of farmers, bakers, butchers, pharmacists, grocers, fisherman and egg ladies to keep us all going, often to the point of exhaustion will not be forgotten. That you will continue to support them with your purchases long after normality returns.