Community-powered ‘shop and deliver’ app Pinga, connects Londoners during Corona crisis

The innovative app keeps kitchens stocked, reduces footfall to shops, and offers an alternative income source for the capital’s struggling workforce

In these times of self-isolation, social distancing and a shortage of supermarket delivery slots, Pinga connects those in need of supplies with local people who can shop on their behalf and drop off on their doorstep – all within one hour.

The London-based app, which launched in 2019 allows users to request items from shops, cafes or takeaways on their local high street. Their request is broadcast directly to a network of Pinga Partners – local residents who’ve signed up to the service – and the first person to accept goes shopping on the requester’s behalf. The in-app chat function allows both parties to keep connected throughout, in case alternative items need to be suggested due to stock shortages. When the task is completed, the recipient pays the Pinga Partner for the items, plus a delivery fee, directly through the app. To ensure as many Londoners get the items they need, Pinga is subsidising every delivery during the Coronavirus and has reduced the delivery charge to £3.95.

The on-demand delivery service is proving indispensable to those who are avoiding shops, haven’t been able to secure a supermarket delivery slot or find their supplies running low. By sharing these errands, user shared trips to the stores could also reduce the amount of shoppers in our high streets, alleviating crowds and queues. As shopping and delivery is done on the local high street, no transport is needed – making life easy for Pinga Partners and producing zero emissions.

Pinga founder and Walthamstow-based father of two Michael Goulden said, “When I first had the idea for an app that allowed local communities to help each other out, and like us all, I had no idea that it would then become an incredibly vital platform to connect a neighbours to one another. Seeing in real-time how Pinga is making a difference has been very humbling. We’re currently subsidising every delivery to make it as accessible as possible to those who need it”.

And it’s not just those who need supplies that Pinga is helping. The app offers super-flexible working opportunities to those who sign up as Pinga partners, providing both an instant income stream and the opportunity to deliver a vital service to their community. It’s a lifeline for those whose livelihood is being threatened by the crisis, such as workers whose hours have been cut and the self-employed, for whom the Government’s newly-announced support measures won’t come into effect until June.

The company has also implemented a number of measures to keep both Pinga Partners and those receiving deliveries safe during the crisis – from strict handwashing protocols to contact-free deliveries.

Pinga is available to iOS users on the App Store – search for ‘Pinga’. Download the app and choose whether to sign up to request items or to register as a Pinga Partner to carry out tasks. An Android version will be available by early Summer.

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