Coronavirus: Agency staff deliver care packages to older clients

A West Yorkshire based agency has been providing food packages for older clients arriving back to the UK on repatriation flights amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Travel agency Destination, located in the town of Silsden, has been busy assisting numerous clients over the age of 70 who were being repatriated from places such as Tenerife and Lanzarote as borders shut and travel restrictions hardened. 

And their support for clients didn't end there, because staff prepared packages containing bread and milk to leave on elderly clients' doorsteps.

Shevaun Joy, a partner in the agency, said they were mindful older clients might need to self-isolate as soon as they got home and could struggle to get food essentials due to panic buying.

“I can’t take credit for it, it was [my business partner] Lisa’s [idea],” she said.

“We were conscious that in the media there’s been a lot of things about panic buying and we just thought for these older clients who potentially have to come straight back and self-isolate, it would just be a nice touch.”

Joy, whose team has so far delivered about 12 surprise packages, said they had been well-received by clients.

“One of them rang us straight away and said thank you and asked where we'd got it all from because the shops have got nothing in. They were just so grateful,” she added.

Joy said the agency was trying to keep “as positive as we can” during the coronavirus crisis, with the store remaining open and staff keeping in contact with self-isolating clients over the phone and via email. 

Though she admitted the agency had had “quite a lot” of cancellations, she said it had managed to rebook 88% of client bookings. 

“That’s really positive for us and it’s a really good message to get out there that people are willing to hang on, get things rebooked and ride through it.”

She added: “Through this really rough storm that we’re having, people who have looked after people are going to be thought about a lot more when people start rebooking. I think there will be another peak.”

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