SPAR, the leading convenience store group in the UK, continues its commitment to multiple charities around the UK to ensure everyone including vulnerable people living in local communities where SPAR stores are located has access to food and essentials and the ability to shop in a safe environment.

Even though lockdown measures have eased, the convenience store group recognises that there are still a number of vulnerable people in local communities who continue to need support.

Working together with the retail and charity sector, SPAR is urging everyone to continue their support for those who are vulnerable or have hidden illnesses despite lockdown measures easing.

Twenty four (24) charities, including Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Independent Age, RNIB, Carers UK, Scope, National Autistic Society, and Diabetes UK have been collaborating with SPAR and fourteen (14) convenience and multiple retailers, Defra and ACS to ensure that all communities continue to be supported with access to essential food.

Louise Hoste, SPAR UK Managing Director, said: “Throughout the pandemic SPAR stores have been lifelines for many people in our local communities especially those who are vulnerable or who have additional needs. The amazing support and acts of kindness from store teams and shoppers has been overwhelming. We are committed to supporting all who need our help and assistance. It is a priority that everyone has access to food and essential items and the ability to shop safely.”

Throughout the pandemic SPAR has been committed to supporting everyone in their local communities with their shopping needs. The group has partnered with RVS, through the NHS volunteers service by providing easier payment solutions in a number of SPAR stores.

Following the success of the volunteer payment scheme this support was then extended to SPAR’s national charity partner Marie Curie along with Parkinson’s UK and RNIB. SPAR also continues to work with Alzheimer’s Society. Over 7,000 employees have been trained to make shopping easier for those with Dementia. These employees wear the Dementia friends badge to show they understand the condition and know how to help.

SPAR UK has supported The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) by circulating best practice guidelines on how to support anyone who is blind or partially sighted in all 2,600 stores. RNIB has also praised SPAR and EUROSPAR stores in Northern Ireland for their support both in-store and with their, already existing, next day home delivery service.

As face coverings are now mandatory across all stores in England and Scotland, SPAR store teams have been advising customers to wear a face covering. In order to keep to high standards of health and safety, Perspex screens, hand sanitiser and in-store signage demonstrating Government guidance is also available in all SPAR stores throughout the UK.

Hoste added: “Even though lockdown measures have eased there are still many vulnerable people in our local communities who need our support. We are committed to working alongside numerous charities and retailers to ensure that everyone continues to be supported.”

The retail sector has been collaborating with 24 leading charities, including Alzheimer’s Society, Shine, Age UK, Independent Age, Disability Rights UK, Dementia UK, RNIB, Carers UK, British Legion, Scope, MND Association, National Autistic Society, MS Society, PSP Association, Pocklington Trust, National Aids Trust, Macmillan, Guide Dogs, Headway and Diabetes UK.

The retail organisations involved include SPAR, Aldi, ASDA, Coop, Iceland, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Booths, Southern Coop, One Stop, Lincolnshire Coop and East of England Coop, Defra and ACS.

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