DORSET Council has revealed how many vulnerable residents it has helped since the country went into lockdown, whilst praising the county's 2000-strong 'army' of volunteers.

Communities have rallied round to set up support groups, providing services such as food delivery, medication collection, dog walking, befriending and more, to help to residents who are self-isolating or have been identified as super-shielded.

Dorset Council says this would not have been possible without volunteers, who have worked closely with organisations such as AgeUK, Citizens Advice, Help And Kindness, Volunteer Centre Dorset, Dorset Community Action and Dorset Community Foundation.

The council said it has answered 3,500 calls for help, and has made over 1,900 calls to the most vulnerable; isolated and lonely residents are also receiving regular wellbeing calls. Support for volunteers and organisations has been available through weekly webinars and over £170,000 in grants has been awarded to groups that are helping vulnerable people.

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of our amazing volunteers for all that you have done and all that you continue to do to help our communities.

"The strength and resilience that you have shown has been outstanding. We could not have achieved all that we have, had it not have been for you.

"I encourage anyone who would like to volunteer to sign up. The road ahead is not yet clear, but we are all in this together and we will get through this by supporting each other.”

Residents who do not have family, friends or a support network to help them get the things they need can call 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, seven days a week to get specific help and advice.

Find our more information about the help available and how you can get help by visiting Dorset Council's communities and volunteering webpages.

You can also follow the hashtag #DorsetTogether for important updates, news stories and positive feedback from those who are receiving help and those supplying help.