COMMUNITIES in Alderholt and Fordingbridge are coming together to help those in need of help.

Alderholt Community Response has been set up due to the current coronavirus crisis.

Reverend Simon Woodley, of St James’ Church, who is part of the response group said: “Alderholt normally does the ReCreate Festival for the village. We were all looking forward to that and the big team that puts it on then realised it was not going to happen, so we felt how can we use this energy to do something good?”

St James’ Church and Alderholt Chapel have come together with the ReCreate team and Churchill Arms pub to see what can be done to help residents.

“We are picking up prescriptions, emergency shopping and we’ll drop post and give you a friendly phone call. Those basic things really,” added Rev Woodley. “We want to make sure people are safe and this is done in a responsible way.”

He said the response so far has been “great” with lots of people volunteering.

“We have had quite a few people showing an interest already on Facebook and lots of people have volunteered, which is super.

“I think because this might go on for a long time we will still need more volunteers, because if people are stuck at home they may manage for the first week or two but after that it may get harder.

“More volunteers are always welcome.”

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Reverend Woodley said: “We are trying to make sure people don’t get isolated, which is really important.”

Those in need of a prescription picking up call 07858 849359, urgent supplies 01425 655155, friendly phone call 07805 979827 or 01425 655155, or email

A Facebook group, Fordingbridge In Need, has also been started by Lydia Warren in response to the coronvirus situation. It aims to help those who may be struggling by offering social interaction via letter writing and telephone calls, or help with deliveries of essential items.

Lydia said she saw the need to “set something up to support those who need help” but says it is still early days for the group.

“It is really early days with the latest government announcement that are happening daily we are having to change and adapt,” she added.

Lydia says the support so far has been “absolutely phenomenal” and after setting up the group on Sunday there are more than 450 people who want to join the group, including those in need of support and others offering to help.

“It is great to see there is that community there who can really get behind and support those who need it,” she added.“The only way we are going to get through this is to work as one community.”

People can get in touch via the Fordingbridge In Need Facebook page, call 07746 005709 or email

Fordingbridge and Sandleheath New Forest District councillor Annie Bellows has urged the community to check on older and vulnerable people.

The Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre pupils have been writing letters to hospitals and care homes in the area.

Head teacher David Pover said: “To see the students eagerly writing supportive letters to the community was really heartwarming at this time of challenge. I think we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the coming weeks.”

Groups have also been set up in other areas including Damerham.