Self Isolation Support Kāpiti have joined under the umbrella of the nationwide organisation, the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) to provide grocery delivery support for those in need.

Kāpiti branch coordinators Aden O'Connor and Sophie Handford said the process is very user friendly and is fully set up and running.

"It's not a complicated process whatsoever," Aden said.

"We've worked with the council and all calls to the council's welfare team about groceries are now being sent to us.

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"We want to make sure everyone knows we're still here to help if need be."

The SVA is providing a grocery store delivery system for those who can't just 'pop to the shops' whether they're over the age of 65, because of medical or personal circumstances, or because they're an essential services worker.

Kim Dolman from Paraparaumu collecting groceries from New World Kapiti.
Kim Dolman from Paraparaumu collecting groceries from New World Kapiti.

Demand over the lockdown period has led to the service being available right across the country.

Volunteers shop and deliver groceries to households within their community with the Kāpiti branch of the SVA joining with New World Kāpiti in Paraparaumu.

The volunteer then delivers the shopping and will leave it at the customer's door – a completely contactless process.

Although it's called a 'student' volunteer army, not all of the Kāpiti volunteers are students.

With hundreds of people volunteering when the self isolation support group was originally created before lockdown, Aden and Sophie created a core team of volunteers they could rely on and equip with the right information and tools needed.

"We have a range of people from students, to business owners to people working with the government in the Covid-19 response space."

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Volunteer Kim Dolman from Paraparaumu has found it a great way to get connected while still social distancing.

"I have really enjoyed being a volunteer for SVA.

"The sense of relief on people's faces when you turn up with groceries is just lovely and the conversations I've had on the phone with some of them have been very special.

"When all this is over I have many coffee dates with recipients and a 97 year old gentleman I am going to see play the piano.

"This service is community kindness at its best."

The service has been set up to continue post-level 3 with the aim of continuing post-covid too.

Self Isolation Support Kāpiti is a registered essential service with the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and will continue to provide all volunteers with the best available PPE.

"Our commitment to protecting and serving our local community does not change regardless of what level we are in," Aden said.

"We encourage people that meet the SVA's criteria to shop online on their website here or by ringing 0800 005 902.

"We will handle the delivery of any Kāpiti orders placed with them."

The council welfare line (08800 486 486) will still accept calls, however, anyone who rings the line for grocery orders will now be passed onto the SVA to fulfil.