772-222-5242 operations@shiptms.com

This article is an extract from the Spring Edition of MER Magazine published in February 2019. You can read the full article as well as other articles from MER for free by visiting digital.mailandexpressreview.com.

From checking in on the elderly to delivering shopping and medication – post people are fast becoming the caregivers of the future.

As the post and parcel industry is already providing an essential role at the heart of the community it makes sense that more and more national posts are embracing the opportunity to improve the lives of people in their local area. With the decline in mail, corporate social responsibility initiatives also have the potential to open a new path of revenue for the industry.

In 2014 Jersey Post won the CSR category at Triangle’s World Mail Awards for its Call & Check scheme. Call & Check is a community care service where Jersey Post staff call and check up on island residents who are either living alone or are isolated. During the proof of concept period in 2013 around 40 Jersey Post postmen/ women checked in on 150 customers.

In August 2018 the Jersey Government agreed to fund the Call&Check service for the whole Island, which has a population of 100,000, so now every postmen/woman delivers the service as part of their normal duties. Also the Government has extended the service for anyone (for example people with disabilities), who would benefit from it. This means the service is free to customers who meet the government criteria. If a customer does not meet the Government criteria they can purchase the service themselves.

And the benefits of the service extends beyond the recipients – Jersey Post staff have really got behind the scheme “I get great satisfaction knowing my Call&Check visits mean so much to the elders I visit,” says Tom one of the postmen involved in the scheme. “There have been many times that I have passed important information back to the Call&Check team to help someone living alone,” adds another postie Ricky.

Joe Dickinson, Director at Call&Check and founder of the scheme explains that the scheme’s success has been a step by step process which started with getting buy in from the community, health professionals, the voluntary sector and support from the Unions.  “As evidence of the success of these elements, in 2016 we created a new independent business to take Call&Check to a new level enabling us to develop a consultancy and business implementation service to work with jurisdictions outside of Jersey,” he says.

Another aspect of ensuring the scheme’s success was the smart use of monitoring and technology. Joe has been involved in developing an IT platform – the ‘Call&Check Engine’, which is designed to connect easily to any postal operators current handheld devices and to health /social/voluntary systems.

Sharing experiences of social impact

Other countries are keen to learn from Jersey Post’s success. In July 2017 Call&Check was approached by the UK Government’s Home Office Department who wanted to discuss the possibility of using the service to address other issues in addition to wellbeing during the Call&Check visit.

Joe comments: “There is a major problem in the UK, and globally, of crime and abuse against elders. The Home Office saw that Call&Check could be a way of reaching older people especially those living alone and may not have anyone to tell if they are getting phone calls, being targeted or abused.”

The Home Office agreed to fund three trials around the UK which started in October 2018 which involve Royal Mail, three local authorities, the voluntary sector and Call&Check. The project is called ‘Safe and Connected’. All three trial sites are operating with the Call&Check Engine and it is hoped that if the trials prove successful it will be rolled out across the UK.

When the scheme was launched, Sue Whalley, former CEO, Royal Mail Post and Parcels UK, said: “Our nationwide “feet on the street” network gives us unparalleled UK reach and local knowledge. In addition, this new community initiative cements the role we already play in tackling loneliness and isolation, providing individuals with a way to access the local services they really need.

“Our postmen and women really are often first on the scene in an emergency and they do all they can to help. This trial, which the Home Office is funding, will help us test whether we could develop this as a new commercial service that we might offer to communities more widely through local authorities or other organisations.”

This article is an extract from the Spring Edition of MER Magazine published in February 2019. You can read the full article as well as other articles from MER for free by visiting digital.mailandexpressreview.com.