Getting Groceries to Deaf Seniors over 70

Post by Rachel Marr

Hello everyone, I have another story to share with you. This one is from last year, the first national lockdown at Level 4. I am sure you remember we didn't expect that to happen.

I remember when the Prime Minister said that all people over the age of 70 were not allowed to go out to do their food shopping, not to go out. They must stay at home. The reason for this was that they were at a high risk of COVID and possibly dying.

One person, a Deaf Senior, contacted me via video phone. They were extremely anxious and didn't know how they were going to do their food shopping. They were not allowed to leave their home. I calmed them down and said OK I would try to find a way for them.

So, I decided to make a video, and post it on my personal Facebook page. I asked if there was anyone who would be interested in volunteering. I received some private messages from amazing people, they were all happy to assist and volunteer.

So, I matched where the volunteers lived to the people in need. Because you needed to stay in your local area. I was able to match everyone, so the plan worked, I had the suburbs covered. I was relieved.

The volunteers were amazing doing the food shopping for Deaf Senior Citizens, the Senior were so relieved and appreciative as they were worried about starving because they were not allowed out.

Great, I organised volunteers to do the shopping. The next thing was how were the volunteers going to get the shopping list as they weren't allowed to meet each other.

The Deaf Senior came up with a plan, they would write the list of groceries along with their card and pin number and put it in an envelope then into the letter box. The volunteer would turn up at an arranged time and pick up the list and card. Go and do the shopping, then return to the Senior persons home leaving the groceries at the door.

This was a lovely relationship because the volunteer would put the bags close to the door then step back and wait for the Senior Citizen to collect then they would have a conversation through the window.

Through the shopping expedition, if the volunteer was unsure of the groceries required, they would text or video call the Senior Citizen for clarification.

The volunteers were wonderful, if they hadn’t been there, I don't know what would have happened to our Deaf Senior with their food shopping. It was Deaf friendly that the volunteers were signers so that the Seniors could have some contact during this time.

I was really grateful for the volunteers, wow.

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