Maybe it isn’t a job that people think of… but it’s still something people have to do”

Over the coming weeks, The Face will introduce you to key workers from sectors across the UK. Here, 20-year-old cyclist Alex takes us onto the frontline of food delivery, as we spend an evening making drop offs around Cheltenham.

I’ve been a Deliveroo rider for the best part of two years now. I’m studying film production at the University of Gloucestershire and it’s a good part-time job.

I’ll usually try to work at the busier sort of times for takeaways, which is around 6pm till 9pm. I’ll go online in town, sit around, wait for an order, and once the first order comes through, I’ll just keep going to and from the restaurants, really. On a good day I’ll cycle about 20 miles.

I wouldn’t say my day’s changed massively. It’s more the protocols that have been put in place. Everytime you go on the app now, it comes up with a little thing that tells you all of the guidance around coronavirus: keep your hands washed, clean your bag, don’t go near customers, keep your two metre distance at all times. We were provided with facemasks and handwash, which is really good. When you go into a restaurant, they usually have it set up so that a person puts the food on a table, and you can pick it up off that, while keeping your distance.

I’ve had a chat with a few of the other riders, and we ask each other how it’s going and if we’re busy. Normal conversations really. In terms of customers, people are definitely a lot more grateful now. They’ll come out and say, Thank you for doing this, mate.” I had one household that sat in their garden and clapped as I came along. I think I’ve probably got more tips than I did before, too.

When I first started, I didn’t feel like a key worker”. And maybe it isn’t a job that people immediately think of – but it’s still something people have to do. And I’m happy to do it.

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