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Behind the Scenes

Woman with shopping bags

Published on 06 September 2020 09:00 AM

There’s no doubt that we’ve had a really busy few months and the work of everyone involved in providing the Welfare Service has been outstanding. Our staff and volunteers have spent many hours in supermarket queues, fetching shopping, collecting medication and making calls to those who need a bit of company.

That was only half the story. The Welfare Service was a simple proposition but had many component parts. Behind the scenes was the allocations team, taking calls from worried people and trying to find a staff member or volunteer to help them out. Sometimes lots of calls had to be made to find someone available who could pick up the job. The record so far was 11 calls to get one shopping trip done. Our finance team has sent out hundreds of invoices and matched them up with the cheques or phone-based payments. Here are a few eye-popping ‘behind the scenes' stats:

  • Over 400 individual invoices issued.
  • Over 3300 individual shopping receipts received, matched and refunded.
  • Over 13,400 telephone calls made to individuals, volunteers and staff members to organise and track the shopping and medication collection elements of the service.

Making the shopping service cash-free was definitely the best decision – it helped reduce the risk of infection and made it safe for older people to use the service, but it did create additional tasks. They also processed the shopping claims, sent out the invoices and banked the cheques when they were sent in to us. Every cheque costs 50p to bank and we’ve received about 100 cheques per month, at an average monthly cost of £50. The Admin team helped solve problems, deal with queries, track down missing evidence and make sure our records were up to date.

The Welfare Service was truly a team effort, from the front line to the back office. Thank you to every one of our staff and volunteers for your commitment and support.