There are a variety of methods available, and how we support people to pay for shopping is evolving all the time. If you think this document is out of date let your Matcher know.

Payment options

Click and collect

If the individual is able to order food online, but can’t get it delivered, this may be the best option as they will take care of payment. Otherwise, you should discuss with them (before you do their shopping) how they can pay.

Any contactless payment (such as PayPal)

This is our recommended method of payment, as no details are exchanged. However, it is unlikely that many older adults will use either PayPal or online banking so you will need to consider other options

Friend/ neighbour or relative

If the requester does not have a way to pay via contactless means please ask if a relative/friend or neighbour can help out

Gift and volunteer cards

New shopping schemes are popping up such as the ASDA gift card and the Sainsbury's volunteer card. The volunteer shops using the card, makes the payment using a barcode in store, and leaves the shopping in a safe place. For more information follow this link. The M&S gift card link can be found here.


We do not accept cash unless it is an extreme case. There are extreme cases where the requester does not have online banking and only cash in the home. If this is the case, you may use a jam jar which can be placed on the doorstep. The money can be dropped inside the jar for you to take away. Please do not open or touch the cash for 72 hours.

Please do not offer to take somebody’s debit or credit card to the shops as a means of payment (e.g. contactless or chip and PIN). NEVER offer to take cash out of a machine on behalf of somebody.

Please ensure you get a receipt for the goods you have purchased and provide this to the individual. We also recommend that you take a photo of the receipt for your own records in case there are any issues later.

Issues with payment

Please be careful about taking money, particularly as many people may be more vulnerable to fraud at this time. Although some people may be willing to transfer you the money in advance, it may be better/more convenient to arrange for payment on delivery/shortly after.

Please be aware of any sensitivities around individuals who are struggling financially at present. Hopefully, if the individual can’t afford to pay, you will have been directed to collect from a local food bank. If the individual can’t pay, there may be options to use the donations collected through Nunhead Knocks or via the Lightning Aid trial which is ongoing. Where you think this may be required, please speak to your Zone Coordinator.

If the individual does not pay you, please inform your Zone Coordinator immediately. You will be centrally reimbursed but the team will need to make a note of this as there is a cap for individuals.

There is a form for claiming expenses here.

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