Group chats and arranging for cover

We've grouped together some of the main questions we get about group chats on OLIO...

But first, check this overview..

Skipping, pausing, swapping - which one's for what?
We understand that not every week is the same, and therefore you might not be able to do one of your future collections as planned. For example, if you're going to be away, if you're sick, or if you've had a last minute change of plans, you can ask the OLIO Community for help to cover your slot. You can also permanently swap slots with someone in your squad. You can skip, pause or swap your collection slot under 'More Info' on the Volunteer Hub under the 'My Collection Slots' tab.
If you cannot do your  next collection, please  skip. If you want to  pause up to 3 of your future collections after your next one, please  pause. And if you've agreed with another Food Waste Hero to swap collection slots, please  swap. All three options are explained in more detail below.
How can I skip a slot if I can't make my next collection?
Please head to the Volunteer Hub and navigate to ‘My Collections’. Please choose the slot you want to skip and tap ‘more info’. Scroll down and tap ‘Skip next collection’. When you skip your collection, OLIO's Little Helper will send a message in your squad's group chat. Your fellow FWHs or FWHs outside your squad can then indicate that they'll cover for you, by claiming your skipped slot on the Volunteer Hub under 'Available collection slots'. Please note it is still your responsibility to ensure that someone claims your skipped slot as otherwise it will count as a missed collection against your profile.

How can I pause a collection slot if I'm going away?

Please head to the Volunteer Hub and navigate to ‘ My Collections’. Please choose the slot you want to pause and tap ‘more info’. Scroll down and tap ‘Pause collection’. Choose the date of your final collection before the break. Then choose how many collections you want to pause. If you need to pause more than 3 collections, please unassign yourself instead.

How do I swap slots?

If you want to permanently swap your collection slot with a fellow FWH, you can do this on the Volunteer Hub. Please head to 'My Collections', tap 'more info' for the slot you want to swap and then tap 'swap collection' towards the bottom of the page. Please note swapping slots happens immediately, so you must agree in writing first with the person you're swapping with.

Do I have to post a picture of my haul to the group after each collection?

No, OLIO’s Little Helper will automatically send a message to the group after you’ve done your collection. This message will include a link to your listings and replaces the need for posting a picture.

How will I get added to group chat?

Everyone who is collecting from a business will automatically be added to the group chat for that business. You will be automatically added/removed when you claim a slot or unassign.

Where can I see the business’ phone number?

We are working on having it displayed on the collection slot card on the Volunteer Hub. In the meantime, please search online or ask your fellow FWHs.

OLIO’s Little Helper says I posted ‘0 listings from my recent collection’. It’s not true, why does it say this?

There are several reasons why this could be the case: 1. you didn’t post any new listings on OLIO since your last collection, 2. you posted listings before your scheduled collection time, 3. you posted listings more than 10 hours after your scheduled collection time, 4. you re-listed an old listing. Please don’t do this. Please create a new listing or copy an old one, 5. you arranged cover but the person covering you didn’t claim your collection slot, 6. you didn’t select the business as ‘source’ when posting your listing.

Why did you stop using WhatsApp?

Bringing group chat into OLIO means we can do lots of exciting things (like automatically link out to your listings), plus you only need to have one app, which should make being a FWH a lot easier! Additionally, OLIO Food Waste Heroes now do a few hundred surplus food collections every week and as we continue to grow we're reaching the limits of what's manageable and technically possible using WhatsApp.

What should I do if the OLIO app is down and I can't access my messages?

In the event of system downtime we will communicate recommended actions to you via our Facebook Group. Our recommendations will depend on how quickly we think we can fix the problem.

Why can’t I send pictures?

OLIO group chat automatically links out to your listings which each have a picture. You don’t need to manually send pictures of your food collection to the group anymore.

What is the Squad Captain’s role?

The Squad Captain overlooks the surplus food collections. They are your first point of contact for any questions. If needed, they can escalate any issues to OLIO.

Where can I see the collection rota and details for my collection?

You can see all details in relation to your collection on the Volunteer Hub under ‘ My Collections’ -> ‘More Info’

How do I tag someone in the OLIO group chat?

You can’t tag other group chat members right now. We haven’t built this feature yet. If you’re missing it badly, please email us at so we are aware.

What do I do if I need to chat to someone privately?

Please ask them for their contact details and contact them in another way (WhatsApp, SMS text message, call, email, etc.).

Do I need to reply to the OLH message to confirm I am collecting?

Yes please. Simply reply ‘I’m ready’ to the group so the Squad Captain knows you’re ready for your upcoming collection.

Why are you sharing how many listings I have posted?

To avoid you having to manually send pictures of your haul after each collection, for transparency and to make it easier for your fellow FWHs to see how much there was to collect.

What happens if there was nothing to collect?

OLIO’s Little Helper will inform the group that you’ve ‘posted 0 listings from their recent collection’. Please tell your fellow FWHs why!

What if the FWH who stepped forward to cover my paused collection can no longer make it? Would this count as a missed collection for me?

No, it would count against their profile instead. However, please be aware that it is your responsibility to find cover and to ensure that your cover claims your (paused) collection slot, as otherwise this will count as a missed collection against you.

Whose responsibility is it to arrange cover when I am unable to do a collection?

Yours! ☺ We completely understand that sometimes you can’t collect as planned. In that case please head to the Volunteer Hub to pause your collection. This will offer your slot to your fellow FWHs who must claim your paused slot(s). It is your responsibility to ensure someone claims your paused slot(s).

Who can claim my skipped or paused slot?

Whilst a message will go out into your squad's group chat when you skip or pause your slot to see if anyone from within the squad can cover the cover slot internally first, any Food Waste Hero who has completed their training (i.e. they have been previously inducted) will be able to claim cover slots via the Volunteer Hub. This means that a Food Waste Hero from outside your squad may join your group chat temporarily whilst the cover is ongoing.

How can I leave the group?

To leave the group, you will have to unassign yourself from your collection slot with the business. You will be removed from the group automatically and OLIO’s Little Helper will inform your fellow FWHs that you are leaving the squad.

Do I still need to arrange cover if I pause any upcoming collection(s)?

Once you’ve paused any upcoming collection(s) on the Volunteer Hub, OLIO’s Little Helper will offer your fellow FWHs the chance to claim it. It is your responsibility to ensure someone claims your (paused) slot(s) as otherwise it will count as a missed collection against you. To claim any of your (paused) slot(s), your fellow FWHs will have to tap the button to ‘Help out’ in the group chat. When someone claims your paused slot, they will get automatically added to the group chat.

Are the localised emergency WhatsApp groups in the OLIO app, too?

Currently (autumn 2019), we are leaving the emergency groups as is but you must only use them to find emergency cover if no one from your squad can cover for you. If you want to find cover for one of your upcoming collections, please pause your collection slot on the Volunteer Hub (see FAQ ‘How to pause an upcoming collection?’).

How do I step down from collecting?

Please head to the Volunteer Hub and navigate to ‘My Collections’ Please choose the slot you want to pause and tap ‘more info’. Scroll down and tap ‘Unassign’. Please choose when you’d like to stop collections and confirm your choice. Please note you need to do this for every slot, if you have more than 1 collection slot at either the same or a different business.

How do I turn off notifications for group chat messages?

We haven’t built this feature yet. If you’re missing it badly, please email us at so we are aware.

How can I contact OLIO about my squad?

Within your squad’s group chat on the OLIO app, please tap ‘group chat info’ and then ‘Contact us’ towards the top. Alternatively, please email

Where can I see who’s part of the squad?

Within your squad’s group chat on the OLIO app, please tap ‘group chat info’. This shows a list of participants.

When will I be able to contact other people directly in the OLIO app?

We haven’t built this feature yet, but if you’re missing it badly, please email us at

I blocked someone so why are they are in my group?

Blocking another user will not stop them messaging in a group chat in which you are active. If this is an issue for you please swap your collection slot or get in touch with us.

How do you calculate the statistics for the 'weekly round-up' message in a squad's group chat?
We calculate the statistics for the weekly round-up message within OLIO group chat for Food Waste Heroes by calculating what % of listings, that were created by the members of the Food Waste Hero squad during the period Sunday 9am and Sunday 8.59am prior the message being sent, were marked as 'pick-up arranged' in the OLIO app. For example, if 7 Food Waste Heroes create 49 listings total, of which 40 were marked 'pick-up arranged' by the Food Waste Heroes, between a given Sunday 9am and the following Sunday 8.59am, the message sent on the following Monday will state " Dear Food Waste Heroes, collectively you have shared 49 listings on OLIO last week, of which 82% were marked as 'pick-up arranged'."
If your question is still unanswered, please email