CONCERNS about the spread of coronavirus continue to rise but residents in West Oxfordshire are coming together to support the most vulnerable in the community.

Elderly people are being advised to stay home amid the pandemic, yet several online groups have popped up across the region to make sure they are being looked after.

Carterton resident Lauren Grace is one of those people who h set up support groups.

Mrs Grace, 30, said she set up the Carterton & Brize coronavirus community assistance group on Facebook as there is ‘a lot of people who might need help’.

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The self-employed sports therapist added: “I didn’t really expect it to take off as it did.

“One lady got in contact from Germany and she has elderly parents that live in Carterton but she’s now reassured that people are able to look after her.

“The number of people in the group is constantly growing as people invite their friends to join.

“People in the group have been giving advice, and letting people know where you might be able to find things like medicine.

“It’s tricky though as we want to help these vulnerable people but also not put them at risk.

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“I’m hoping to start a project where people will put together care packages for the elderly.

“Everyone wants to help and it restores your faith in humanity.”

The group on Facebook has over 1,600 members however this figure continues to rise.

Another Facebook group, Eynsham volunteers coronavirus help, has been set up by 31-year-old Sean Grace.

He said: “Lots of people are feeling increasingly lonely but we’ve now got a list of volunteers.

“We’re going to pop leaflets through doors giving guidelines on how to offer help.”

Oxford Mail:

However, it isn’t just members of the public who have set such groups up, as councillors have also shown support to their wards.

With local elections postponed for a year, councillors on West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) find themselves in a rather strange situation.

Elections were due for May 11 but these will no longer take place.

Merilyn Davies, an independent councillor for WODC, is one of those doing her bit to help people in her ward, Freeland and Hanborough.

She said: “I was sick of worrying and had to do something about it.”

Oxford Mail:

Within four hours of creating the Hanborough COVID-19 mutual aid group on Facebook, 200 people from the village had joined and the councillor described seeing people offer to help was ‘emotional’.

She added: “Hanborough is that sort of village where people come together.

“We’ve all taken a street to champion to make sure there is a contact for people.

“Everyone wants to do something and help the community.

“It’s a community thing for the village, but also for the UK.

“I don’t think any of us can predict what’s going to happen so it’s more about getting prepared and getting plans in place and making sure people know they’re not alone.”