Vulnerable people forced to self-isolate due to the coronavirus pandemic will be offered a helping hand, thanks to a new voluntary initiative in Swindon.

Swindon Parish Councils, Swindon Borough Council have both teamed up with Voluntary Action Swindon and the Volunteer Centre Swindon to help pair volunteers with those who have no one to help them during the current public health emergency.

Members of the community who want to help those who are self-isolating, who do not have their own support networks, can now log their offers of support with Voluntary Action Swindon, who will work with the Councils to pair them up with those most in need. This could involve speaking to someone over the phone to offer some companionship or collecting shopping for those who are staying at home.

Pam Webb, CEO of Voluntary Action Swindon, said: “If you are someone who is self- isolating or in need of non-medical assistance as a result of coronavirus, we would recommend in the first instance that you reach out to family members, neighbours and friends that you know personally. But we are very aware that there will be people in our local community for whom this is not possible.

“These are the people we hope to help through our ‘Compassionate Swindon’ initiative. We also want to try and help the many charities and care services continue to thrive who are also experiencing staff and volunteer shortages due to current containment protocols.

“As usual in difficult times the community spirit shines through and all three of the organisations in this partnership have been contacted by people wanting to volunteer. We want to make sure that this fantastic community spirit is harnessed in the best way to keep both volunteers and those being helped safe.”

People who wish to support others should visit www.vas-swindon.org to complete a simple online form indicating how they are willing to help.