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'If they don't move, I can't social distance'

Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,008

Scope community team

edited May 2020 in Disabled people

Disabled people are being "judged" and forced to explain their situation when trying to safely buy food at supermarkets during the coronavirus pandemic, a leading disability charity has warned. 

From risking their health because they can’t get delivery slots, to facing negativity from other shoppers, buying food and essentials continues to be a source of enormous worry for many disabled people who are left feeling vulnerable by the experience, new research by Scope suggests. More than one in three (36 per cent) disabled shoppers surveyed by Scope said long queues were aggravating their conditions or impairments, with 26 per cent saying they have faced negative attitudes from other shoppers. Supermarkets have introduced priority delivery slots and dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable customers, with some offering assisted shopping for those in need, but many disabled people are still finding food shopping a difficult experience. 

Scope has called on supermarkets to develop a "consistent and co-ordinated approach" for disabled customers, and to expand their lists of vulnerable people who are eligible for help. 

Source: I News

What are some of the barriers you've faced when shopping under social distancing? Do you endure negative attitudes from other shoppers? What changes would you make?
Community Manager


  • StayceStayce Member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    edited May 2020
    Hi @Adrian_Scope Hope you are keeping well. I initially had a problem in being able to shop at a leading supermarket. I was initially told I couldn’t enter the store with a member of my own household who was going to assist me to shop. I was told they were only letting single customers in store. Once I explained that I have a disability and am in the vulnerable group too and need assistance to shop they were absolutely fine.

    This was also during the non vulnerable hours as I’ve never managed to get up early enough for that 😀

    But it’s changing people’s perceptions dramatically
  • rm1612rm1612 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I couldn’t cope with the one way system in my local supermarket. I couldn’t walk my usual way and this made me feel like I was in a completely different supermarket and I didn’t know where anything was. 

    I’m an autistic adult but not diagnosed, assessment began before lockdown and is now on hold. I have no idea how I’m going to cope if I have to go again but my husband and son and also autistic so it’s not easy for us right now. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,008

    Scope community team

    Thanks both.
    I have to say I find the one-way system difficult to process and it completely alters the way I approach shopping, but then I suppose nothing about this situation is normal.
    Community Manager
  • Fen94Fen94 Member Posts: 6 Connected
    rm1612 said:
    I couldn’t cope with the one way system in my local supermarket. I couldn’t walk my usual way and this made me feel like I was in a completely different supermarket and I didn’t know where anything was. 

    I’m an autistic adult but not diagnosed, assessment began before lockdown and is now on hold. I have no idea how I’m going to cope if I have to go again but my husband and son and also autistic so it’s not easy for us right now. 

    I feel this! I can't do my normal route, I have to think even harder about what I need, and get anxious about going the wrong way. The ""one in one out" system works better for me, but I then have to judge if I have enough energy for the wait time. It's a whole added barrier. I'm very lucky as my partner copes far better than me, plus we've been able to do a click and collect slot (although he had to grab it because it wasn't contactless! That was Waitrose fyi.).

    I also normally get delivery, and because I'm not high risk, I can't do that any more. Slowly adjusting though, and being grateful for what I do have (my health and a happy safe home ^_^).
  • PhilipBurdekinPhilipBurdekin Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I m not allowed to go into any shop because my wife( not living together) any more I’m a lost and lonely miserable sod, I’m not really lol. Is my barrier and cared, I now have dementia since 2014, and RA DIABETES COPD DICKY TICKER. WE ALL NEED TO FIGHT against what we all live with. I find things better since I accepted my ills and stopped the fighting it. Chin up people.
    phil x

  • desperatemedesperateme Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I hear the the birds and smell the fresh air. The earth is healing too. 
  • PhilipBurdekinPhilipBurdekin Member Posts: 11 Connected
    It’s in need of help and there not many people catering, there’s too many not givIng a flying cream cake
  • PhilipBurdekinPhilipBurdekin Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Carding and not catering lol.
  • GAZZA74GAZZA74 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    It's been horrific haulacaust first of all stay at home yeah we get that then it's like you can't get a delivery slots unless you have a self isolating letter from your Gp well I am still waiting on it so yes you guessed it delivery slots non existent and then to put tin lid on it my dad has type 2 mum has heart failure and underactive thyroid and Raynaud's and we were really struggling for food stuffs and supplies four days we had to live on lucozade and bread because we were due to do our big shop but never got etc if it hadn't been for my doctor actually caring iam absolutely disgusted with the way my 87 and 85 year old parents have been treated 
  • GAZZA74GAZZA74 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    edited May 2020
    However  Iceland and Tescotastic Tesco's  lovely call back from them got us a click and collect them a delivery later in a week where none of the other big retailers in the supermarket chain actually bothered to care or were even INTERESTED
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,358 Disability Gamechanger
    @ Adrian_Scope, As a mobility scooter user I have had no problems with shoppers in my own town or bigger local shops. While out on my bigger scooter dog walking again no problems, I have had a few amusing moments, while going along side a path next to a lake people have stood next to the lake. On asking them, if I come closer will you jump in the lake or walk on the water. After a laugh we exchange pleasantries and proceed on our walks. Laughter helps in these stressful times.
  • justjudithjustjudith Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I used to do online food shopping because I find shops/shopping hard to cope with.  I also do not have a car, family etc.  I do have a movement disorder as well as less visible disabilities.   I am continuing to work ( one of the necessary workers) but have no option to go into town and do an in person shop.  I cannot get an online slot from any of the major 4.  

    On top of it, people assume everyone there is able to do everything 100%.  And if you need help you are out of order. Or do things differently.  If you say anything it's like you are committing a crime.  Not all disabled people have family and friends to help.

    I know supermarkets want to help...… is it yet again a time for us to educate folk?  I'm tired of having to explain and ask all the time - I am not being awkward...… I am doing the best I can. I'm human.
  • StickmanStickman Member Posts: 81 Pioneering
    edited May 2020
    Quite right justjudith.  Maybe we should all sign something and send it to the right people?
  • Redstar3Redstar3 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Some can be so Negative because its distracting  causes - disturbing others related to the shopping.Behavior of the people changes   alongside social distance  or shopping they can  react   diffrently.
  • caitlyn_saddingtoncaitlyn_saddington Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Social distancing as a blind person is near impossible without other people making it worse than it needs to be. As a community, we can’t distance ourselves from something we can’t see and we aren’t going out of our way to deliberately upset or put others in danger.
  • Everton270475Everton270475 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    The local Tesco to me has become a nightmare since lockdown, luckily I live with my parents and they do the shopping.

    But once a week I go down the GP Surgery, and used to like going to our local Tesco Express.

    Went in there a week after lockdown, it had a one way system, and boxes put in the way to make sure you only went the one way, but you couldn’t easily get the wheelchair around.
  • Rose7Rose7 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Not joined up thinking
    Some supermarkets only allow elderly disabled people and carers in on first hour of trading each day, but it’s not understood that bus passes don’t work till after 9.30am. I have care visits so it’s not possible to get there and carers have most visits in the morning. I told my supermarket this and no deliveries available  
    Solution, So the community matters team shop and deliver for me in her own car, been life saving. 

    Solution. Ring your local council they will put you in touch with volunteers to click and collect shopping.  There’s a real sense of community help collect prescriptions too. 

    Other difficulties 
    1. The thing I have difficult with is that there’s no help to bring in anything left at your door to put it away. My Canine Partners helped but it took us almost and hour. if it wasn’t for him, it’s stays there till next carer visit. 

    2. First Priority Delivery slots available for vulnerable is 10 days away, and having to spend £80 to have that slot might make it inaccessible for some people. 
  • StickmanStickman Member Posts: 81 Pioneering
    edited May 2020
    Does anyone get the feeling that people just don't think about people with disabilities?  I too think that the timeslot given to disabled and elderly people is just ridiculous.  It's first thing in the morning isn't it?
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