CHARITIES hit by the coronavirus pandemic have launched emergency appeals for donations and volunteers to continue their vital work supporting the elderly.

Age UK supports older people in the county through Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire and the county branches including Age UK Worcester.

After the government’s recommendations for social distancing for people over 70, the charities' services have never been more in demand, but they have suffered a significant hit to their funding.

Age UK Worcester and District's chief executive officer, Clare Thomas, said they had seen a staggering 80 per cent of its funding lost.

It has been forced to suspend its group activities, but staff are contacting all those affected to ensure regular contact and help and support can be provided.

Its face-to-face befriending service has been largely suspended, and replaced with a telephone service, while homeworking, handyman and gardening services are continuing to run on a case-by-case basis, but with workers taking extra precautions by not being in the same room as clients or entering homes where work is non-essential.

All of its retail shops are currently closed, but the charity says its online eBay shop will remain open for the time being.

And its office in Shaw Street is closed for drop-in visitors, but telephone lines will remain open for enquiries.

Clare Thomas, Age UK Worcester's chief executive officer, said: "The staff and volunteers are working so hard to support the elderly - and therefore isolated - during this pandemic.

"We received over 350 phone calls last week from people asking for help – most very worried, scared and isolated.

"As well as giving reassurance we have delivered food and medicine to those in self-isolation, made phone calls to our 120 befriending clients, started phone calls to the 1,300 people we have worked with who are the most vulnerable.

"We are also recruiting volunteers to help those who will be discharged from hospital.

"Among all this we have lost 80 per cent of our funding.

"We therefore have a very uncertain future and yet we are required more than ever."

To volunteer for Age UK Worcester and District visit

To donate to Age UK Worcester and District call 01905 724294 or visit the website.

Meanwhile Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire says it is keeping staff and the people it supports safe through this time, and although it had been forced to close offices, including Malvern Gate in Worcester, to the public, it stressed it was still ready to support people.

As a result of closing these offices, footcare, podiatry, training and drop-in for information and advice services have had to be suspended, but its staff are keeping in regular contact with those that used the services and their carers through telephone calls and offering dedicated support numbers if they feel they should need them.

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And Age UK Worcestershire's Help at Home, and Independence at Home service is still running.

Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire’s chief operating officer Magda Praill said: "Whatever happens we don't want to let Worcestershire’s older people feel isolated and alone.

"We won’t be able to do face-to-face meetings, but we will keep in contact whenever we can and we would encourage people to continue to volunteer.”

Anyone wanting to volunteer for Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire can do so by emailing

To donate to Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire visit or email