Council in Kent appeals for more volunteers to help the vulnerable this winter

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw

A council in Kent is appealing for more volunteers to help it look after the elderly and vulnerable this winter. 

Like many parts of the country, Folkestone and Hythe had plenty of people willing to help out with things, like shopping, in the early days of lockdown.

But numbers have declined in recent weeks, raising fears there won't be enough helping hands over the Christmas period.

More volunteers are needed in Folkestone and Hythe. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Ever since March, Dan has been volunteering to do shopping runs for those who can't leave their homes. He now drops essentials off for Christine twice a week.

Dan says: "I've always looked after elderly people, wherever I lived. So, I went straight in and was volunteering, I think, within four days of lockdown. It makes you humble. That's one thing I've learnt, seeing how some people live their lives and how lucky I am that I'm fit, and my wife's fit and my family are. It has been very humbling, to be honest."

They had 600 volunteers come forward in the early days, but now Folkestone and Hythe's community hubs are appealing for more to help with everything from making tea, to picking up prescriptions. 

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, Folkestone and Hythe District Council, Con Credit: ITV News Meridian

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee from Folkestone and Hythe District Council says: "I think volunteers are absolutely vital. I can't thank the volunteers who've come forward previously enough. And it's amazing that some of the volunteers are so pleased to be doing it because it gives them a purpose."

With fears of tighter coronavirus restrictions coming down the road, it is hoped our communities will once again pull together to help those who need it most.