SUPPORT for older people in our communities here in Dorset has never been more needed than during the coronavirus outbreak.

That's the message from Age UK, amid recent Government recommendations for social distancing and isolation – as calls to the charity have increased by nearly 400 per cent – but funding has stopped.

Dave Thorp, Age UK North, South and West Dorset (NSWD) CEO, said: “Over the past week we have seen calls for help into the office increase by nearly 400 per cent.

"At a time when other organisations are sadly having to reduce staff hours, we at Age UK North, South and West Dorset are drawing on every available team member to respond to the huge increase in need.

“The charity's trustees and I believe we can provide exactly the kind of advice and support people need now. So, we will continue to answer the hundreds of calls and emails we are receiving daily.

“However, all our usual sources of income have stopped. We are therefore reaching out to seek financial support from individuals and organisations to continue delivering this highly important service.”

To reduce the impact of the outbreak, Age UK NSWD is determined to be there for older people who need help - especially those who have no one else to turn to.

Mr Thorp added: “By donating funds to Age UK NSWD you will help us reach and support more of the older people who are suffering in isolation at this worrying time.

“We are a charity that receives no Government funding for the important life-line that we provide to older people.”

The charity is now fully focused on working in partnership with Dorset Council and other organisations to provide a community response to Covid-19 across the area.

Age UK NSWD is operating a call handling, assessment and deployment service to answer calls from older people who are self-isolating and need help. Those calls for help will then be matched with the right agency or voluntary group to respond.

Volunteers are being signposted through Volunteer Centre Dorset. To ensure that any volunteer deployed is DBS checked to ensure safeguarding polices are adhered to.

Dave Thorp added: “If you are, or know an older person who needs our help, please call us and talk to our staff and volunteers.

“We are open for calls from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday on 01305 269444. We can also be contacted via email on”

Donations can be sent to:

Age UK North, South & West Dorset

Rowan Cottage

4 Prince of Wales Road


Dorset DT1 1PW

or by calling 01305 269444 or emailing