We are a new community project supported by enform, Colchester's Environmental Information Charity.
We want to help our local residents, particularly those that are vulnerable, community groups and small independent local businesses by offering a low and no cost, eco-friendly (using an e-cargo bike) delivery and collection service project in Colchester.
Our project has three key aspects to it, three areas where we believe we can really make a difference.
1. Offering a free delivery service to Community and Support Groups such as the Colchester Foodbank and their service users. Many of whom are currently facing financial hardship and mobility challenges or who are having to self-isolate and need to rely on home delivery of essential food, medicine, and other provisions.
At the current time with the restrictions due to Covid many of these vulnerable people are struggling to book delivery slots and more are asking for assistance with collecting medicines and other personal supplies.
In addition to the increased demands on our Foodbank, we are seeing more families relying on community support for accessing and acquiring childrens’ and baby clothing, baby supplies, and essential kitchen and home-wear items. Our community support organisations are inundated with requests to deliver these much-needed items. The eCargo Bike delivery service project will step in and provide delivery support and will also collect items that people across our area wish to donate to Colchester Food Bank and other community response projects.
2. Local Shops/Businesses Community Support - Particularly our smaller, local independent shops and businesses who are an important part of the local community. The project will help local businesses build resilience, help them improve customer service and engagement, offer them another avenue to make their offering accessible and viable and enable them to compete with bigger ‘operators’ with established delivery infrastructure. The delivery service will give our local shops and businesses an additional valuable service to offer existing customers and help recruit new ones and increase sales, it will enable them to:
Offer a low cost eco/green delivery service to their customers
Access that delivery service without long term expensive contracts, upfront fees or commissions (deliveroo can be £500 sign-up, and 30% commission on sales).
Engage new customers. (particularly those who may be interested in eco credentials)
Demonstrate additional Corporate Social Responsibility
Contribute to their own and the Borough’s Climate Change objectives
Demonstrate and improve their social capital by working with a community/charity led project
At this challenging time this project will help our local independent shops, sellers, traders and businesses recover and come back from the covid-challenges they have and are facing now and in the future.
3. Cleaner Air and a Healthier Environment – by using an environmentally friendly e-cargo bike instead of a fossil fuelled vehicle we will be making a small contribution to reducing pollution, reducing carbon emissions and congestion making the town a cleaner and healthier place for all.
In summary, the eCargo Bike Delivery Service project is a traditional community focused bicycle delivery service, but with new technology. It is innovative, clean, and fast and set up to meet the current 21st Century needs and the current covid lockdown challenges. There is no service like this in our area, with your support we will be pioneering and building something new.
Despite currently addressing several key covid-support needs for the Colchester community now, we believe that this project will continue to grow and become a much valued, useful, and diverse community support project in the future. Particularly as businesses and community groups will need to adapt to flourish in a post covid world and where there will continue to be ongoing economic and mobility challenges for vulnerable children, families, and the isolated elderly.