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Yui Mok/PA Wire
older lady empty shelves.jpg
Yui Mok/PA Wire
UK News

'I'm hearing a lot of fear from older people': Christian group relieved as Sainsbury's announce elderly-only shopping hour

by Tola Mbakwe

A Christian charity that runs care homes and helps older people has commended Sainsbury prioritising the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic.  

It's the latest supermarket to announce measures to help the elderly and vulnerable during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

All its stores will only open to these two groups for the first hour of trading on Thursday, but will open for an hour longer so other shoppers do not miss out.

Sainsbury's has also now said customers over 70 and those with a disability will also have priority access to online delivery slots from Monday and the chain is also expanding its "click and collect" service.

Louise Morse from Pilgrims Friend Society told Premier this will be a massive to help to older people: "I think it will help a great deal," she said. 

"I think it will help because I'm hearing a lot of fear from older people…because they are being told they are the most vulnerable sector. So the fact that a supermarket is acknowledging them and their needs, this is really very good."

Supermarkets have seen a huge surge in demand for delivery services, with no slots available until next month for both Tesco and Waitrose in some parts of the south east.

Iceland outlets across the country have also introduced reserved time slots to give the vulnerable and the elderly a chance to shop in store.

Morse said just as supermarkets have started making adjustments to cater to the elderly who have to isolate, she's noticed acts of "spontaneous kindness" from Christians.

She encouraged people to continue to contact the elderly and vulnerable via phone or leaving a note on their door offering assistance with groceries.

She also said suggested posting encouraging cards with Bible verses on them. 

"That will give great reassurance to people that they're not being forgotten, because it's a terrible thing to be forgotten," she said. 

"Choose some good scriptures like Romans 15:13: 'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you've trust in him, so that you may overflow  with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.' "

She gave this advice for Christians wondering how to navigate life during this time: "Acknowledge this is a frightening time, but also acknowledge we are get through this time.

"Choose what thoughts you want to think. Capture every thought and bring it captive to Christ and decide what practical things you really need to do.
"And then think of others because thinking of others is actually hugely therapeutic for yourself."

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