Coronavirus in Charlton: Sainsbury’s ‘listening to feedback’ after older shoppers’ hour failed to take place

Sainsbury’s promised an hour exclusively for older shoppers – but it did not happen at its Charlton Riverside store

Sainsbury’s says it is “listening to feedback after its Charlton Riverside branch did not reserve its first hour of opening for older shoppers to help them stock up during the Covid-19 pandemic, as promised by the supermarket giant’s chief executive.

In a statement to the media yesterday, Mike Coupe said “we will set aside the first hour in every supermarket this Thursday, 19th March, for elderly and vulnerable customers”.

However, one Charlton Champion reader, Joy Brown, told this website that the store’s manager simply let all customers in when the doors opened at 7am.

“He refused to allow even a ten minute window and said everyone must take their chance before disappearing into his hidey-hole. You can imagine what happened when everyone was let in at the same time and the disadvantaged were jostled and shoved by the younger customers,” she said.

Brown’s experience was backed up by social media users. “Queues are longer than the aisles, elderly forced to wait alongside the rest of the general public,” wrote Joey Brown.

Sandra Smith wrote: “Unless 60 percent of them had had a recent face-lift, you did not deliver your promise. My 90 year mum went for three items, toilet paper, Oats and Kitchen roll. Got none!”

Greenwich and Woolwich MP Matt Pennycook said he had also heard about issues at the Sainsbury’s store and that he was concerned that the government was complacent about the pandemic’s outbreak on food supplies. “From the large number of reports I’m receiving, many local supermarkets are either not taking action to limit overbuying or are struggling to enforce such a policy and more worryingly are failing to ensure older people have dedicated shopping hours to secure essential supplies,” he said.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: “A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said, “We asked our customers to respect our decision to dedicate an hour in our supermarkets this morning to serving the elderly and vulnerable and work with us as we try our best to help those that need it the most. We’re listening to feedback from our customers and colleagues and understand some stores faced challenges supporting the hour.”

If you’re doing something special to help local communities get through the Covid-19 crisis, drop us an email and we’ll try to feature it on the site.

Charlton fans helping Greenwich Foodbank at The Valley this week

Fans Supporting Foodbanks will be collecting outside The Valley on Tuesday and Friday evenings this week

Charlton Athletic fans are being asked to help Greenwich Foodbank this week by donating non-perishable food at the club’s two home matches on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

A similar appeal last year resulted in local families in need receiving 1,000 meals. With the promoted club experiencing a spike in attendances, Fans Supporting Foodbanks will be hoping to beat that number this year.

You’ll find a collection point in The Valley’s car park from 6.15pm on Tuesday, ahead of the match against Huddersfield Town, and from 6.15pm on Friday, before the Hull City game. You don’t have to be going to the match to donate.

The food bank is looking for food with a long shelf life and that doesn’t require refrigeration. Examples include cereals, rice, long life milk or canned meat or fish. It currently has plenty of beans and pasta but is in great need of tinned fruit, tinned carrots, tinned peas, long-life fruit juice and tinned rice/custard.

If you can’t make it to The Valley, there are collection points at Charlton House, Sainsbury’s Charlton Riverside and Charlton Asda.


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VIDEO: Watch Greenwich & Woolwich’s election candidates at Charlton hustings

Five of the general candidates for Greenwich & Woolwich took took questions from voters at a hustings event in Charlton on Saturday morning – the last such event before Thursday’s poll.

Here is (slightly wobbly) video of the entire event, which was held at Charlton Assembly Rooms.

Part one: Opening remarks (3.16), housing (14.11), tax and public services (22.34), Brexit (32.10), Silvertown Tunnel and the climate crisis (41.54)

Part two: Corruption and transparency (0.05), housing (12.25), energy efficiency (24.24), Wikileaks and the NHS (33.50), closing statements (48.40)

The candidates who took the time to appear (from left to right on the panel): Rhian O’Connor (Liberal Democrat), Matt Pennycook (Labour), Victoria Rance (Green), Thomas Turrell (Conservative), Eunice Odesamni (Christian People’s Alliance). The Brexit Party’s Kailash Trivedi did not show up, nor did the independent candidate Sushil Gaikwad.

The chair was Andrew Donkin. It was hosted by the Charlton Society in partnership with the Charlton Central Residents Association, Charlton Parkside Community Hub, and Valley Hill Community Hub – thank you to them for allowing filming.

  • If you live in a street inside the Eltham constituency, the London Masala & Chips blog has a write-up of the hustings that took place there.

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    Advertise your business with us from just £9.80/per week