COMMUNITY and volunteer groups across Wiltshire have banded together to help their fellow residents get through the coronavirus crisis.

This week Discover Trowbridge has helped 216 in the elderly and vulnerable with shopping and prescription requests, collecting prescriptions, providing reassurance and delivering shopping where needed.

Aby Cooper, customer service manager at Trowbridge town council said: “We’re taking point in giving people advice on shopping, online shopping and we’ve got telephones number for local companies who are doing food shopping over the phone.

“We’re also supporting the older generation in how to set up an online account and we’re also working with Wiltshire Council to hopefully get food packages out when they become available from the government.”

Meanwhile, the Melksham Community Group, organised in partnership by Melksham town council, Melksham Without Parish Council, Melksham Area Board and Age Friendly Melksham.

The group has over 300 volunteers working together to help 140 people, organised through WhatsApp.

A website and dedicated phone number has been set up as a point of contact for those looking for support.

The group, on top of offering food shopping, prescription collection and walking dogs, the group are calling people in self-isolation.

Cllr Hubbard said: “One of the biggest things for people who live alone, or don’t have family close is that they have nobody to talk to.

“We’ve got some marvellous volunteers who are phoning people up and just having a chat.”

One crucial aspect Cllr Hubbard stressed was that anybody could become vulnerable because of coronavirus if they are forced to self-isolate.

He said: “It’s okay to phone up and ask for help because there are too many people saying, ‘We’ll cope’.

“You don’t need to cope, we’ve got an amazing group of volunteers comping at the bit to try and help.”

Cllr Laura Mayes, cabinet member for public health praised the volunteer groups that have popped up across the county and that government food parcels have started to arrive.

She said: “Wiltshire Council has set up a hub at Five Lanes Leisure Centre in Salisbury and Government food parcels have started to arrive for those identified as being most at risk and told not to go out even to shop.

“Many of these people will have family and friends to help them but we are there for those who have no-one to help.”

Cllr Hubbard said if there is a silver-lining to coronavirus pandemic, “it’s that we are rediscovering what community truly is.”

He said: “When this is all behind us, we mustn’t let go of what we have discovered in the last 10 days.”

To access help from the Melksham Community Group, go to or call 01225 809265.

For Discover Trowbridge you can call 01225 765072 or go to