People in Gosport borough are being asked to help raise thousands of pounds for the voluntary effort that's supporting vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.

The appeal, by the charity Gosport Voluntary Action, is being backed by Gosport Borough Council.

The Gosport Community Response volunteer service, set up by the council and GVA, is already dealing with well over 200 requests and is allocating volunteers to jobs such as picking up shopping, collecting prescriptions or simply chatting to a lonely person on the phone.

GVA needs to raise money to buy food for those in need, along with supplies including personal protection equipment, phones and computer kit. It also needs to cover volunteer checks, and expenses including petrol and equipment. Funding is also needed to cover running costs as it recruits more staff and volunteers to meet demand.

Its goal is to raise around £87,500. To donate, residents can go to Gosport Voluntary Action's page on the Good Exchange fundraising website.

Nicky Staveley, chief officer at GVA, said: "We're trying to help as many older and vulnerable people as we possibly can. The demand from the community has been huge, and continues to grow. 

"There's a huge coordinated effort required to sign up volunteers, ensure they are trained, checked and suitable, and then match them with those who require assistance.

"We've been overwhelmed with the generosity of local people who have come forward to offer their time and expertise.

"Now we need to make this appeal for funds so we can continue to provide this service during this crisis."

Cllr Mark Hook, Leader of the Council, said: "We've got a very impressive effort under way thanks to lots of local people coming forward as volunteers. Council staff and the GVA team are working hard on it. But to keep it going, it also needs donations from the public.

"I'm sure people will want to support GVA's work on this and give what they can afford at this time."

The Community Response service is designed to help the most vulnerable people in the borough, who are isolated at home and have no other source of help.

To request help, or to volunteer, people in the borough can:

  • go to the GVA website
  • or call the council's community helpline: 023 9254 5588, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The Gosport service is linked to the Hampshire County Council coronavirus helpline, Hantshelp4vulnerable, which offers information and advice, as well as practical support, to frail or vulnerable residents who do not have support from families, friends or their local community. It can be contacted at weekends, as well as weekdays, on 0333 370 4000, from 9am to 5pm. Get more information.