Adrienne Wilcock (pictured on the far right) is strapping on her court shoes and volunteering to support Matamata’s local supermarket to get online orders out the door to customers.
“I’m shifting stock in the mornings, attending Zoom meetings with council during the day and hitting the floor at New World on the days between. I get a lot out of being a part of our community where you help make things happen and you're supporting people.”
After her first day of work, Adrienne says she has the greatest appreciation for what supermarkets provide and what our essential workers do day-in, day-out.
"As a shopper, it is easy to just see products on the shelf, fill your trolley, go to the checkout, buy it and be done. You actually miss all the other inner workings that go on behind the scenes; restocking shelves, the hours of night fill, and now especially with COVID – the bubble or team logistics of keeping everyone safe.”
The supermarket put a call out for people to help stock shelves, following the last lockdown when stock flew out the door as people panic bought. Through her work with Council, Adrienne knew the operators and offered her support.
"Sadly you can't just employ staff at the snap of the fingers. So it helps if you know the person and can hit the ground running.
Adrienne says while operators don't enjoy being in this situation, they have to work through it because they're essential and they provide the community a lifeline.
"It’s incredible to see the inner machinations of a supermarket and all the extra work to provide safety, especially in Level 4.”
She encourages everyone to exercise a little common sense and kindness when shopping.
"We all need to be patient and not stock up in a way that you're denying other people products. There are limits on toilet paper, bread and staples but we have to think about other people and remember how much we actually need to get through the week or so. It's just about having a little bit of consideration for others.”
"We're all people trying to thrive in our community. Being part of a community means you may not know the person at the checkout, but a friend of yours or your whānau does. It's about remembering we're all in this together and as trite as it sounds, be kind and be polite. It’s all the small things we do for each other that count.”
As for her wages, Adrienne will be putting those toward the build of a new stadium in Matamata.
"We’re about to start fundraising so every dollar is going to count. It’s my way of making a contribution towards some equipment.”
Adrienne took on a role at a mobile testing clinic last year during Matamata’s sizeable cluster and remembers fondly how her community came together to rally around those affected.
"It’s a key part of survival for small communities and for businesses to have that local support.”