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Repton Community Trust are a Kent based charity dedicated to “putting the heart in communities” by working with the community in and around Ashford. The Trust runs Repton Connect Community Centre which opened in October 2018 and has become a well-loved, impactful addition to the community.
In late 2019, the project know as ‘People’s Pantry’ was born. Originally started by 70 members of the community on a Facebook group, it developed into a collaboration between the trust and the community turning it into an ongoing project that has a bright future of helping and supporting the whole borough.
The People’s Pantry started as a community fridge which helped food insecurity and reduced food waste. From there the trust incorporated a dry food cupboard to ensure individuals could have a range of supplies if they needed it. Not long after, Covid-19 started and the demand for their services increased dramatically – this meant that the community trust had to think of a long-term solution to help donate food and supplies to hundreds of people instead of the individual. As the Covid-19 pandemic evolved, so did the Trusts approach to supporting people. This is where the idea of a parcel box solution became the goal.
WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR?
The solution they needed had to be safe for not only the community, but also their staff. It needed to be available 24/7 and able to keep up with the high demand through the pandemic and beyond. This would indeed reduce risks and help solve the problems they were currently facing.
They also wanted a solution that offered a range of different parcel sizes, along with a customisable option so it could stay in line with company branding guidelines.
Repton Community Trust received lottery funding and decided to put the money towards a community Modula myRENZbox, manufactured by us, which provided a safe storage place for food and hygiene products.
myRENZbox is a dynamic parcel box solution that incorporates technology, accessibility, and efficiency. This future proof technology is at the forefront of parcel management, saving time and providing the ultimate all in one integrated solution.
This contactless, convenient Click & Collect system was installed October 2020, and has provided a safe way for people in need to access essential items. The People’s Pantry is available 24/7, ensuring that there is emergency access to food anytime of the year and anytime of day.
myRENZbox offered a solution to all the above problems along with easy installation and around the clock after sales service. Since installing the solution, the people’s pantry has helped over 1600 people and donated over £11,000 worth of supplies.
THE TECHNICAL SIDE
The team at Repton Community Trust and their volunteers found the myRENZbox solution really user friendly, easy to use and they navigated through the process hassle free.
There have been no complaints or issues so far concerning the technical IT side of the solution meaning the Trust is able to navigate through busiest times as hassle free as possible.
The trust has found that the solution has other benefits such as a drop off option as well which has the 24/7 option for ease of access.
There has also been a lot of interest and referrals for the product and the solution is seen as a ‘Model of best practice’.
As the pandemic evolves the Trust are looking at their strategy to reduce long-term reliance on The Peoples Pantry whilst still supporting people in need. They are currently seeking funding to develop a Community Shop, providing members with heavily discounted items and access to development programs.
A user of the People’s Pantry has said:
“If it wasn’t for the community fridge and People’s Pantry, I wouldn’t have been able to give my twins a birthday tea. I had an unexpected bill which meant I had no money for food. Through the People’s Pantry, I was able to access cake, crisps, bread, and other treats. Thank you so much”
Beth Rice, Executive Director of Repton Community Trust said:
“The parcel box solution has been a real game changer for us. Giving people access to food 24 hours a day, even during public holidays has been amazing. We received a referral late on Christmas Eve and were able to provide a family with food in under an hour. We are so pleased The Safety Letter Box Company were willing to listen to the ideas of a small charity and work with us all the way through the design process and beyond. Thank you from myself, the team and our users!”
Alison Orrells, CEO and MD of The Safety Letterbox Company said:
“It is great to see our myRENZbox systems being used to provide such benefits within the community. It really shows how an innovative and future proofed product can provide simple and highly effective benefits to everyone, everywhere and we really commend Repton Community Trust on their foresight and use of innovation to solve such a growing problem”
Richard Wigley, Head of myRENZbox UK, Parcel Box Division said
“I am delighted that we were able to work with the Repton Community Trust and provide 24/7 access to essential food products and everyday household items for the vulnerable and those in need in the local community of Ashford, Kent. It is incredibly uplifting when members of the Repton team recount instances of local residents collecting food packages in emergency situations and even during the festive season.
The whole of The Safety Letterbox Company would like to thank Repton for their innovative thinking in breaking new ground with the myRENZbox package management solution. It has been a pleasure working with them and rest assured we will continue to support the long-term success of such a worthy cause.”
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