Throughout the month of June MYTime Young Carers, a charity supporting young carers in Dorset and beyond, teamed up with volunteer motorcycle riders from the nationwide task force Bike Shed Community Response to launch a new delivery service providing weekly food shopping for young carer families in Dorset during lockdown.

Krista Sharp, Executive Director of MYTime, said, “We are immensely proud to be serving our young carer community in this way. We launched a weekly food shop delivery to 12 young carers and their families.  We recognise how hard it is for those at high risk and shielding to access food right now.”

The new service is part of MYTime’s COVID-19 Food Provision Programme, which supports young carers who are most in need by providing them and their families with nutritious food at a time when daily tasks like grocery shopping can present enormous challenges. The aim of the service is to relieve young carers of at least one of the many increased pressures they are now facing due to the pandemic.” 

Krista continued, “With the generous funding given to us by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and in partnership with the incredible volunteer riders from Bike Shed Community Response, we have been able to provide 12 Dorset young carer families with their weekly food shopping.”

The weekly food shopping is delivered to young carers via motorcycle by volunteers from Bike Shed Community Response, the 1,200-strong nationwide task force of on-call, volunteer riders, all mobilised and managed by staff from The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club – the creative community space, restaurant, and members’ club based in Shoreditch, London. The vetted volunteer riders are made up of The Bike Shed customers, members, followers, and staff – all of whom have come together to provide vital support and free courier-like services to the vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis.

Vikki van Someren, CCO & Co-Founder of The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club, said, “The Bike Shed and motorcycle community have always been strong and socially responsible, remaining connected even while our doors were closed. We know these times have been particularly challenging for the young carer community, so it’s been a privilege for our volunteer riders at Bike Shed Community Response to work alongside MYTime in helping to provide support to these incredible young people and their families during this difficult time.”

Krista advised, “Feedback from the families that have been supported to date has been extremely positive. A moving example of how we have helped one particular family is detailed below with a quote from the mother of a young carer.”

“I am a single mum with limited mobility and my 14-year-old daughter is a young carer. My 12 year- old son is special needs but we don’t fall under any of the “vulnerable” categories, except to the Government. 

“Since lock down I have been unable to get a home delivery of food from any one of the major supermarkets. This has resulted in me and my daughter having to rely on our local Tesco express, which has become very expensive, and as I need to use a mobility scooter  it has been very awkward as I can’t get the scooter in the shop but can’t walk around the shop, so as usual it’s all falling on my daughter.

“When an email from my daughter’s support worker in young carers came last week to offer this food delivery service from MYTime Young Carers charity, I was extremely grateful.

“My shopping was delivered this morning by a lovely gentleman, using social distancing. As we packed it away my daughter was extremely grateful to not have to lug potatoes and tins back this week!”

“I really am very grateful for this service you have provided us with, we have (or rather the children have, because I’m not bothered about me) been going without things because we have to get essentials first, unless I send her up the shop each day for other food items, which I don’t want to do as she does more than enough….too much actually. 

“So tonight, for the first time since lockdown they are having their favourite chicken korma, from the lovely chicken breasts you have been able to get delivered for us. 

Once again many many thanks!”

Concluding, Krista said, “Heartfelt feedback like this is so satisfying to receive. The MYTime team would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in our Food Project.”

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