A PENSIONER with lung cancer shielding from the coronavirus at home has thanked the Oxford Mail for helping him to get vital food deliveries straight to his door.

Mike Belcher is one of the estimated 1.5 million ‘high risk’ people with serious underlying health conditions who need to stop all face-to-face interactions for 12 weeks.

For the 81-year-old resident of Garsington village, this means he cannot buy groceries and his ‘vital’ source of local news the Oxford Mail.

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Mr Belcher and his wife Anne Marie, who is 70 and is also considered vulnerable, had tried to shop online from major supermarkets like Sainsbury’s, but after hours on its website, they were unsuccessful.

It was only after the Oxford Mail ran a helpful list of newsagents across the county who are offering local home deliveries that Mr Belcher was able to get all his shopping done.

He called Delteys Supermarket in Blackbird Leys, who brought everything that he needed – including his daily dose of local news – within an hour.

In September last year, Mr Belcher was diagnosed with cancer that the doctors found spreading in his chest.

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The former paperboy for the Oxford Mail between 1949 and 1955 said: “We have had the paper delivered every day for many many years and that is how we found out about Delteys.”

He added: “If it was not for you, we would not have any food – hope was delivered.”

Another reader, Patricia Spencer-Allardyce, of Littlemore, also contacted the Oxford Mail about deliveries.

She explained that when she phoned several newsagents in the area, they all refused to deliver to her home, but Acorn newsagents on St Nicholas Road were ‘more than happy to’.

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Mrs Spencer-Allardyce explained: “We have been trying for a long time to get a newspaper delivered to us.

“Now that we are of the age when we should not be going out at the moment it has become even more important to us.

“Acorn newsagents are not particularly close to us, so a big public thank you to them for their kindness and help."