British stiff upper lip leaving millions without essentials during pandemic claims new research

Nearly a third of us have needed help this year, but have not asked for it according to new information

Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 11:30 am

New research has found that since the COVID-19 pandemic started nearly 13 million British people, who have been forced to self-isolate, have gone without important prescriptions and essential shopping because they didn’t know who to turn to for help.

A state of the nation study by mobility app SKOOT found that a third of the UK admits to shying away from asking others for help, citing reasons such feeling like a burden, not wanting to make others feel obliged to help and embarrassment as their top reasons.

In response to what it calls a 'national dilemma' SKOOT has launched Errands - a first-of-its-kind feature which connects friends who drive with people who need help with everyday tasks due to self-isolation, vulnerability, being in higher tier areas or lockdown.

Traditional British stiff upper lip has stopped millions getting essentials during pandemic claims SKOOT

In a year where Brits have leaned on loved ones and their communities possibly more than ever before, over a third of us have been left worried about family members who they know need help, but don’t have anyone nearby they can ask.

Somewhat shockingly, it is the younger generation of 16 to 24-year old’s, who said they didn’t know who to turn to for help (27%) was the main reason for them going without, compared to just 9% of those 71 and over.

Behavioural Psychologist, Becky Spelman says it is because British people traditionally pride themselves on their resilience and self-sufficiency.

"But it is not really resilient or self-sufficient for anyone to go without the things they need," she said.

We are a nation of people who want to help others, even complete strangers. But we are also a nation that often refuses to ask for help

"Nobody should ever feel ashamed of reaching out for help when they need it. Most people welcome the opportunity to help others when they can—and in fact, helping others is good for our mental and emotional wellbeing.

"SKOOT Errands could not be coming out at a better time. As well as making it easier for people to arrange getting their errands done, it bypasses our old-fashioned British reticence, and makes it possible for us to reach out.”

Research also found that we are a nation of people who want to help others. So much so that a quarter of Brits say they would offer to run an errand for a complete stranger if they were asked.

However, the problem lies in that, although over one in five Brits want to help run errands for others, they don’t know how to go about offering their help due to over 4.2 million Brits not having their neighbours’ phone numbers to reach out to them.

The Errands app

Greg Gormley, CEO and Co-Founder of SKOOT said: “We identified the need for the launch of Errands during the pandemic, where we saw those unable to leave the house struggling. We refocused from being a business primarily about lift sharing, to one that helps those who are vulnerable or self-isolating and unable to get out for essentials. This additional feature connects people who drive, with people who need help with errands to make life easier for those in need.”

Errands enables users to request errands or favours for friends, family and those in their community, at the touch of a button for free or a simple £5 thank you tip. Plus, SKOOT Errands is 110% carbon negative planting a tree every three errands.

You can download SKOOT on the App and PlayStore and get running errands or have someone help you or a family member via the new feature.