Kind-hearted volunteers delivering food to elderly during virus pandemic

The Hour Community are delivering food to Framlingham's elderly population, said Nick Corke (inset)

The Hour Community are delivering food to Framlingham's elderly population, said Nick Corke (inset) Picture: NICK CORKE/CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

An inspirational Suffolk community has arranged for essential shopping to be brought to the elderly and vulnerable unable to leave home during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 100 volunteers have been recruited by the Hour Community to serve residents of Framlingham, many of whom would be at risk of serious illness if they become infected with the virus.

Nick Corke, chief executive of the Hour Community, said the organisation had banded together to support those who need help amid the crisis.

He said: “We will do what we need to do. We cannot have elderly people starving.

“We’re trying to do our little bit for the town and the people that have lived here for many years.”

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Many Suffolk residents have been stocking up on food in the last few weeks, with supermarkets often left empty at the end of each day as shoppers prepare to spend extended periods at home in isolation.

In response, some retailers have set aside certain opening hours for the elderly and vulnerable to buy their groceries to lower the risk of them catching the virus, officially known as COVID-19.

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To ensure Framlingham’s elderly neighbours can be fed during the crisis, the Hour Community have based themselves in the town’s Crown Hotel to distribute food and essentials.

Residents can place an order with the organisation, with a volunteer later delivering a box containing food, medication and magazines to their homes - all while following strict government guidelines regarding social distancing.

The organisation has even catered for those who use cash and not debit and credit cards, with relatives paying into a system.

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To combat loneliness caused by social isolation, volunteers have set up a ‘buddy system’ and have begun calling those unable to leave their homes.

Mr Corke said the severity of the situation means it is vital that we do not leave vulnerable people to deal with the crisis alone.

He said: “This is evolving every single day, but we just do what we can.

“We all have to look at this situation as if it were our own mother or father. The reality is that we have to help each other.

“This generation has never seen something like this before.”

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