Crown Connects in Inverness is on a mission to reduce waste and share surplus food, toiletries, and other essentials with local people who need them. The community group’s volunteers collect supplies from food retailers, supermarkets, and households who wish to make a difference through their donations. These items are then stored in the community cupboard.
To give residents the opportunity to access food supplies and other necessities conveniently, volunteers work hard to keep the community cupboard open from 8 am until 8 pm, seven days a week. Anyone who would like to choose items from the cupboard, or wishes to donate, is welcome to visit between those times.
Accessing without volunteers
However, maintaining these opening hours was putting added pressure on volunteers who were already out every evening collecting goods from supermarkets, restocking shelves, and cleaning the cupboard. Many volunteers are still busy at the cupboard until 10 at night.
Crown Connects wanted to be able to leave the cupboard unmanned during opening hours
The challenge was to find a way to ease the burden on volunteers. Crown Connects wanted to be able to leave the cupboard unmanned during opening hours so users could access it without volunteers having to be present all the time. To make this valuable resource available to everyone who needed it, Crown Connects decided to fit a coded lock to control access to the cupboard.
Cupboard access door
Bill Strachan, Senior Instructor at Crown Connects explains: “Although we created this initiative to reduce food waste, it’s no secret that a lot of folks are finding it a huge financial help too. It is important to us to be able to allow anyone to access it without asking our dedicated group of volunteers to give up even more of their time.”
“We needed a lock with coded access functionality so we can allow users to unlock the cupboard door between certain times of the day. We also wanted to be able to override the lock if necessary.” The community cupboard team selected the CL5510 brushed steel smart lock by Codelocks, which is now installed on the cupboard access door. “The Codelocks support was first class when it came to supplying and helping to set up the lock,” says Bill.
Supporting local residents
Installing the new smart lock has transformed the way the community cupboard works
“The smart lock works extremely well and allows us to control the times that people can access the cupboard, which is exactly what we needed. We are particularly impressed that the lock has the option of automatically adjusting to British Summertime when the clocks changed.”
Installing the new smart lock has transformed the way the community cupboard works. “The cupboard itself has a steady stream of visitors throughout the day,” explains Bill.
“It’s great that the volunteers don’t have to go and unlock the door every morning and again in the evening. Anyone who needs to use the cupboard is now given the code and they can access the stores any time during our opening hours. Having the smart lock in place has reduced the workload for our team, and our busy volunteers now have more time to keep the cupboard tidy and well stocked and spend supporting local residents.”