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For The Community

While studying at the University of York, I noticed the widespread use of delivery apps like Amazon, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats. These apps made it easy to get various products and meals at the touch of a button, but I also saw the negative press about these companies paying their workers' low wages. At the same time, I was witnessing the closure of many stores in my hometown of Lewisham, including big brands and local shops that were important to my community. This contrast between the digital world and the high street made me wonder: is it possible to create a platform that combines convenience with community support? That's how I came up with the idea for Ordrs, a platform that provides convenience while also helping local communities thrive.

I co-founded Ordrs with Jimi while at York, and we officially launched operation in Lewisham, London, in 2019. We partnered with local grocery stores to offer same-day delivery, and I did all the deliveries myself at first. As the company grew, I hired local people and paid them above the London living wage.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused great purchasing panic, straining local stores' ability to maintain stock - this led to the temporary pause of Ordrs operations. We used this time to get involved in community initiatives, including donating profits to food banks and providing free Caribbean soups to vulnerable adults. Eventually, in May 2021, we relaunched stronger, with a greater range of local store partners – including multicultural food shops, fishmongers and greengrocers. It was a privilege to support people with groceries during such a chaotic time.

In 2022, we faced another obstacle: the rising cost of living and fuel made it difficult to pay drivers fairly and maintain the excellent service that our Lewisham customers had come to expect. As a result, we had to take another break from operations. However, during this hiatus, we connected with Impact on Urban Health, part of Guy's and St Thomas' Trust, and are now working with them to revive Ordrs and expand our services to Lambeth. This partnership will allow us to continue our mission of supporting communities while also addressing issues like the higher cost of healthy foods. We hope to relaunch Ordrs in the near future and continue our work of bringing convenience and community together.

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