More than 2,700 people have volunteered to help deliver vital food and medicine to vulnerable people in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole after an urgent appeal for help.

Community Action Network (CAN), working with partners across BCP Council is recruiting volunteers to be part of a community response.

The council has set up a phone line (0300 123 7052) for people who have no support and need help, they are then matched with a local volunteer.

One of those taking part in the scheme is Rebecca Tinworth (pictured), a self-employed teacher from Boscombe who is unable to work during the crisis. She felt this was a great opportunity to do something positive for her community.

 “I was delighted when I heard about this scheme. I signed up immediately and the next day I was put in touch with a man who lives nearby. He is deaf and has learning difficulties so urgently needs help. I deliver food and text him daily because his family aren’t local, and he gets lonely.“  

CAN is also recruiting volunteers to work with local pharmacies to collect and deliver life-saving medicine. A local pharmacist said: “This is amazing – thank you so much.”

The charity, which supports the area’s community and voluntary sector, is also providing expert advice and guidance to existing and emerging groups who provide a lifeline to their communities. It also has plans to work with the wider community to help tackle older people’s loneliness.

Listen to Karen interviewed by Blair Crawford on Hope FM 

“At a time of national crisis, it’s so gratifying to know people want to help others. We’ve been overwhelmed by people’s kindness,” said CAN’s Chief Executive Karen Loftus.

“Ensuring food and medicine get to people in need is essential - we must support society’s most vulnerable at this critical time. However, we also need to help older people experiencing loneliness – it’s vital they don’t feel alone.”

For more on CAN’s crisis response go to COVID-19 or follow us on Twitter @can100org and Facebook.