Devizes’s covid-response group promise they are ready and able to respond if demand vastly increases in coming weeks.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly to support the local community in what is the second week of lockdown.

Love Devizes, formerly Devizes Covid19 Support, had swung back into action after a meeting last week to mobilise the organisation.

An intricate operation now allows volunteers to view incoming requests in real time on a large TV screen, whether it be to collect prescriptions or buy essential groceries, and then allocate them to another volunteer.

All the personal information, such as phone numbers and addresses, are protected by an encrypted secure database.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Jonathan Hunter, Viv Kyte and Evelyn TaylorJonathan Hunter, Viv Kyte and Evelyn Taylor

Jonathan Hunter, the Love Devizes centre coordinator, said: “The volunteers are fantastic and it is also good for them, as it allows for social interaction and real friendships are formed on the phone, you hear some amazing conversations.

“We’ve been really busy and often it’s that human voice that helps to begin with – having someone who can listen and respond in what is a really difficult time for some people.

“We feel a large responsibility for covid safety, as we need to protect the people we’re looking out for. The headsets volunteers wear for calls are sanitised every day and everything is covid-secure."

Yesterday (Monday 10) volunteers Evelyn Taylor and Viv Kyte were on shift. Sitting at opposite ends of a room in the St James’s Centre, the pair were busy picking up phone calls and co-ordinating drop-offs and deliveries of essential items.

The duo, who both volunteered with Love Devizes before, had had a packed morning.

Evelyn said: “The last lockdown really rattled people and they took it seriously. Although things are slightly different now, we've still been really busy.

“We have a really diverse range of volunteers, but that has also shifted since the last lockdown. We had families and people who were furloughed last time round– for lots of people their circumstances have changed.”

Viv said: “On the whole, everyone is appreciative of the support.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Evelyn TaylorEvelyn Taylor

"This morning someone rang up who used us last time, and she was so happy we could help her again.

The volunteers, Jonathan explained, would be poised and ready if demand took a high turn.

Mr Hunter added: “Currently, we’re making sure people know we’re back and putting a call out.

"If demand increases we would be able to cope.”

Anyone in need of help have been urged to get in touch.

Key workers can also benefit from the Love Devizes group’s essential services.

If you live in Devizes and you are

- having to self-isolate because you are in an at-risk group

- having to self-isolate because you have Covid19 or symptoms

- vulnerable, unsupported or in need of help

- a key worker

and you need help

- with shopping for essentials

- with the collections of prescriptions

- with essential errands

- with lifts to medical appointments

- or if you need a friendly chat

then call 01380 722160 on Monday to Friday from 9am to midday for support.

To volunteer to help during this current lockdown then register at

Love Devizes is a joint initiative between the Churches Together in Devizes, Devizes Town Council and Wiltshire Council.