A community group set up in response to the first lockdown stands ready to help the elderly and most vulnerable as the country enters its second.

Wilton HELP has been a lifeline for residents who were shielding or in need of support during the pandemic’s first peak - running errands, doing food shops and delivering medication to people’s doorsteps.

The group of volunteers scaled back their services as restrictions were eased but with a second national lockdown beginning today, the dedicated team want everyone to know they are there for them.

Founder Larissa Tonkin said: “We never stood down all together, we just reduced our services. The kind of things we were involved with last time are the same things we’ll provide now, our services haven’t changed so hopefully people will be pleased to see we’re there for them.”

Keeping a close eye on the events of the past few weeks, Larissa says the announcement didn’t come as a surprise for the group and everyone is keen to play their part.

“From my perspective, I watch and I listen and I read the stuff from Sage, I’ve had Covid twice so I see numbers going up. The fact of the matter is that’s not desirable but if they need to do a national lockdown then they will. We need to keep responding as the world changes.”

She added: “We all need to look after each other as best we can, that’s what we’re trying to do in Wilton and I know there’s lots of support around the Salisbury area which is great to see.”

The award-winning team, crowned Best Hero at this year’s Village of the Year Awards, is looking for more volunteers to help throughout the four-week shutdown.

Anyone who would be up for the challenge is asked to fill in a form at https://bit.ly/3jUEYzR.

Anyone who needs support can call the helpline on 01722 698698. A volunteer will be there to answer between 9am and 1pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, or if all volunteers are busy, calls will go to voicemail until someone is available to help.

The services provided by the group are: shopping, transport to medical appointments, prescription collection, urgent errands and social phone support.

For more information on the group visit www.wiltonhelp.co.uk.

Elsewhere in south Wiltshire, help is available from Wiltshire Council through its Wellbeing Hub which can be contacted via email at wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 003 4576.