Porlock woman says she 'wouldn't exist' without her Exmoor village neighbours' support during Covid-19 lockdown

A resident of Porlock in Somerset has said she “wouldn’t be existing” without the support and help which she has received from people in the village since the outbreak of coronavirus.

Helen McKay is shielding at home after receiving palliative chemotherapy, which has now stopped, and she is reliant on others for supplies.

Nearly half the number of residents in the Exmoor village are above retirement age and some of them have no access to the internet.

An estimated 40% of the village’s population is of retirement age Credit: ITV News West Country

Helen said: “So many of us are old, the population over 70 here must be enormous!

"I do feel that without the people doing these things for me I would feel really isolated because we’re in a quiet corner and we don’t see people going past.”

Clubs in the village, including a dance group, are regularly meeting online Credit: ITV News West Country


Groups, including book and dance clubs, have been meeting online and a number of volunteers have been delivering goods to vulnerable residents.

21 year-old Megan Cox has been delivering a gentleman’s newspaper every day. She said: “There are a lot of old people in Porlock so it’s important that they don’t go out as often.

"The local shop has been really good at helping with that and we’re just doing our extra little bit on top.”

Volunteers have been delivering supplies and medication to vulnerable residents Credit: ITV News West Country

The residents of Porlock showed their community spirit in 2019 with a successful campaign to save the village's fire station.

During the Covid-19 crisis, communication has been the key. Regular emails and leaflets are sent to residents by an impressive workforce.

Debbie Stanyon is the manager of Porlock Visitor Centre and paid tribute to the large number of people who have given up their time to help.

Find out more about the support available to residents in Porlock here.