The withdrawal of the Co-op’s excellent phone-and-delivery service will be a big blow to many in West Wight. I first heard of this service through a neighbour at the beginning of lockdown, when I was nearly in tears at my inability to obtain a delivery slot at several supermarkets, despite being a priority customer.

The service has provided a lifeline for me and many others in similar circumstances, particularly those of us living on our own.

It seems very odd to withdraw the service at a time when infection rates are undoubtedly rising and many scientists believe a second wave has already begun.

Although the Co-op has done its best to make the store Covid-safe, the failure of some customers to respect social distancing makes some more vulnerable people feel unsafe there. I have written to management suggesting a phone-and-collect service might provide a viable alternative, but have so far had no response.

Read more: Please keep this community lifeline

Friends who order online (and not everyone can) from other supermarkets tell me it is still difficult to get a delivery slot, and one needs to order at least two or three weeks in advance. For those of us with small freezers this is really not an option.

I hope everyone who has benefited from this service will keep urging the Co-op to reintroduce it when the infection rate gets worse, as is likely during the winter months.

In the meantime may I say a big thank you to all the local home delivery team, who have been so helpful, cheerful and friendly during this difficult time.

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