TWO groups in Worcestershire have been recognised for their work helping beat loneliness and isolation with regular phone calls to those in need have received grants to help in their coronavirus activities.

Persimmon Homes is focussing on giving money to groups that benefit people aged 70 and over in light of the Covid-19 crisis and is giving away up to £1,000 each to two groups every month.

The latest groups to receive money are Severnside Covid-19 Support in Worcester and Pershore Volunteer Centre in Pershore.

SCS, which was set up by Severnside Parishes, will put its £1,000 windfall towards helping the elderly with phone calls and errands, while Pershore Volunteer Centre has received the same amount to continue its own welfare calls.

Reverend Mark Badger, of SCS, said: “We’re a community group set up at the outbreak of the pandemic with the approval of parish, district and county councillors.

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“Over the past months SCS has supported the local community by making over 250 welfare phone calls each week to the elderly and vulnerable, delivering some 600 prescriptions, responding to over 400 requests for assistance, setting up a food bank and delivering some 1,600 food parcels.

“These funds will enable us to continue this work into the next stages of the crisis. We are extremely grateful for Persimmon’s support.”

Kate Walton, of Pershore Volunteer Centre, said: “During the crisis we have set up a telephone helpline for local residents who have no alternative support networks and our volunteers have delivered essential shopping items and medical prescriptions on a daily basis for those in need.

"Through this helpline we identified a large number of vulnerable callers who were anxious or particularly distressed during their isolation so we have set up a telephone befriending scheme to keep in touch with them, providing social contact and reassurance on a regular basis."