A new community phoneline set up to support the people of Dedworth during the COVID-19 crisis is looking for volunteers.

It is the brainchild of Royal Borough councillor Carole Da Costa who represents Clewer and Dedworth East ward and since going live on Monday has already brought relief to more than 100 worried residents.

There are 20 volunteers so far, all working safely from home with All Saints Church in Dedworth Road as the 'virtual' hub.

By ringing 01753 342110 callers will get through to a volunteer who will be able to give them crucial advice about where to go for help or information in dealing with problems caused by the crisis.

But most importantly volunteers will be able to organise home deliveries of food or prescriptions to the caller's home if they cannot get out and have no-one to help them - at a cost of just £10.

Cllr Da Costa said: "Tesco have been marvellous. They have donated 10 food boxes free - we are very grateful to the manager Joe Pothecary."

Some people may just be lonely =in their isolation though.

Cllr Da Costa said that some callers will be able to talk to a 'phone friend' - a volunteer who will be happy to have a chat and cheer them up.

She said: "Some people may be isolated. It could be weeks without talking to anyone. Social contact is very important."

The 'hub' received 10 calls on its first day of operation on Monday and calls have doubled virtually every day since.

Co-ordinators David Flanagan, Carolyn Carter and Alan Gaff are being kept very busy.

More volunteers are needed - just call the above number to volunteer your services.

Cllr Da Costa said: "This is a real chance for local residents to get together to build a community - to create something that will last longer than the current crisis."