How to be a Co-op food delivery volunteer

Last updated: 6 May, 2020

Thank you for being a Co-op food delivery volunteer.  

You’re doing an amazing thing for someone in your community who needs support. 

Follow these guidelines so that you protect: 

  • yourself 

  • the person you’re supporting  

Before you volunteer 

You must follow the government guidance on: 

You must not volunteer if you are: 

How it works  

  1. When we know someone in your area needs essentials, we’ll contact you to check if you’re available. 

  2. We’ll contact you with the name, address and phone number of the person who needs essentials.   

  3. Contact the person to arrange a time to collect their gift card and shopping list. 

  4. Go to Co-op and buy the shopping they requested. 

  5. Deliver the shopping to the doorstep of the person. 

When you pick up the Co-op gift card 

You must: 

  • contact the person to arrange when to pick up their gift card – we recommend you withhold your number by dialling 141 before the number you want to call 

  • stay outside the person’s home

  • knock on the door then move 2 metres (6 ft) away  

  • ask if the person is happy for you to substitute items on their shopping list if they’re not available in store – if they are, make a note of any allergies or dietary requirements 

When you’re shopping in a Co-op store 

You must: 

  • only buy the items on the shopping list you’ve been given unless they’ve asked you to substitute an item 

  • carry the shopping bags with both arms (if you have more than 1 bag) 

  • hold the bags in front of you and close to your body when carrying – this will put the least stress on your lower back and shoulders 

You must not: 

  • buy any alcohol or tobacco for the person you’re supporting 

  • pay for the shopping yourself if the Co-op gift card does not have enough credit on it – contact the person you’re supporting to check what item/s to remove from the shopping list if this happens 

  • overload the shopping bags – this could cause injury when carrying 

When you deliver the shopping 

You must: 

  • stay outside the person’s home, especially if they’re at a higher risk from coronavirus or have symptoms 

  • stay 2 metres (6 ft) away from them 

  • leave the shopping outside their home 

  • limit the time you spend outside your home by picking up their food at the same time as yours  

You must not: 

  • go into their home under any circumstances 

  • drive in a car with them 

If you need to stop  

If you need to stop the volunteering opportunity at any point, for example if you’re called away, develop coronavirus symptoms, are injured or feel uncomfortable, you must call: 

  • the Co-op Business Services Centre on 0800 029 4592 

  • 999 if it’s an emergency 

If you’re worried about a person’s health 

Contact the NHS: 

  • online: NHS 111 online coronavirus service for help and advice 

  • phone: 111 if symptoms get worse 

  • phone: 999 if someone’s life is at risk 

You must not risk your own health by: 

  • going into their home 

  • driving them to a hospital or doctor’s surgery 

Data protection 

 During your volunteering you may come across personal information about people. 

 This might be: 

  • addresses 

  • family details 

  • medical information 

Do not share this information with anyone. 

You must: 

  • treat personal information as you would want yours to be treated 

You must not: 

  • share personal information you come across with anyone 

  • leave messages that contain personal information if you do not know who may hear them 

After you volunteer

You must delete all information about the person you supported, including the: 

  • email from Co-op Business Services Centre which has the contact details (name, address and phone number) of the person you’re supporting 

  • person's name and phone number from your phone if you added it to your contacts 


You’ll be supporting a wide range of people. 

Everyone is different and it's important to treat people with respect. 

You must: 

  • treat others how you would want to be treated 

  • respect people, whatever their background or beliefs 

  • report hate crimes to police – a hate crime is a crime against someone because of their disability, transgender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation 

You must not: 

  • exclude or treat people differently because of their background or beliefs 


You may come across people at risk of harm or abuse during your volunteering. 

You must: 

You must not: 

  • promise confidentiality if someone informs you of abuse 

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