RESIDENTS are being called on to help vulnerable people in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling people to stay at home, the country is in a state of lockdown as the government continues to battle the threat of COVID-19.

During these unprecedented times, huge numbers of people have risen to the challenge of supporting their neighbours and wider communities. Across Dorset there have been numerous community groups and home delivery services set up, as well as the everyday acts of kindness that have helped people through this crisis so far.

In a bid to get extra help from volunteers across the county to where it is needed the most, Dorset Police has been working with Dorset Council and Volunteer Centre Dorset to provide advice and resources to support and coordinate the community response to the outbreak.

Elaine Ryan, Prevention Development Officer for Dorset Police, said: "We are living in unprecedented times and every one of us will be facing new challenges and whilst for the majority, although it may difficult we can adjust of lifestyles without enduring undue hardship.

"However there are many vulnerable people who need extra help and support right now so it is reassuring to know that many local people are rising to the challenge to support their communities, but it is important that those who volunteer follow good practice to ensure the safety of both themselves and those who they are assisting.

"With this in mind both Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils are providing advice and resources to support and co-ordinate the volunteer community response.

"Thank you for all that you are doing to stay safe and to keep your communities safe."

Volunteer Centre Dorset is a registered charity working all year round for a more connected and resilient Dorset. During this difficult time, the charity is asking low-risk residents to fill out their form here, so that you can help others across Dorset.

Volunteers can get involved in a number of ways, whether that be checking in on isolated individuals, helping vulnerable people with shopping or volunteering in places like care homes in case of staff shortages.