CHURCHES were closed but GP surgeries were open for extended hours over the Easter weekend. I have been helping where I can to support our medical centres and care homes by delivering some of the PPE they need, particularly 120 litres of Dorset-made hand sanitiser (kindly supplied by the Black Cow distillery) across West Dorset in my van!

Meanwhile, my team has been busy engaging with those who signed up for my ‘West Dorset Scrub Hub’. I am immensely grateful to all of you, in groups around the constituency, who are busy sewing scrubs and accessories to help our doctors, nurses and carers top-up their supplies.

While welcoming the good news that our Prime Minister is now out of hospital and recuperating at home, our thoughts turn to families in our own communities with loved ones still in hospital, especially those who may be in Dorset County Hospital, and I thank the dedicated NHS doctors, nurses and support staff who are providing exceptional care in challenging circumstances.

I know many of you will be concerned, as I definitely was, with news about the position with coronavirus and care homes. I would like to reassure you that my team and I have now called every care home in West Dorset, to check they have all that they need and to offer help with support or resources. I have also had a very productive conference call with Dorset councillors.

Locally, there are many volunteers who went that extra mile over Easter and I must give a special mention to the Dorset Carers Hub and Dorchester Community Kitchen who, with the help of The Leonardo Trust, demonstrated the very best in community spirit, reaching out to carers and those in need. For details on the many groups offering help during this crisis visit