DURING this coronavirus pandemic we should all be playing our part to help the vulnerable: i.e the aged, the infirm, the isolated, those who have lost their jobs and those on the front line. We are all at risk, but by following national guidelines we help ourselves and others and lessen that risk, though some have very sadly been or will be affected by the loss of friends and family.

With so much negativity and adverse criticism of the lack of preparedness I despair. How can one prepare for the unknown? Some believe the NHS nationally has been underfunded, but some Trusts are still coping better than others. Better management?

We all know someone I suspect who has profiteered by using our NHS.

Congratulations to those who have raised large sums of money to support the NHS. However, why do private care and cursing homes charging up to £2,000 per week expect the Government – you and me – to provide PPE and other support for their staff?

Maybe you think the Government acted too little, too late by not planning for the unimaginable? But have the rest of us planned for that rainy day, which this is definitely not? Many people on low incomes, the old and the young with children, struggled even before this crisis and could not or would not ever save, however little. Even more people are now falling into this category with no or much less income, and sadly too many have no support from family or friends and because they do not know where else to go resort to the profiteers charging exorbitant interest on loans. The Wyvern Credit Union website should be a good start. The funds they loan have been or are being given by generous and concerned Dorset residents for many years.

The more comfortably off in this area – mostly the older generation - have lost their cleaners, hairdressers, chiropodists and other help they had or needed, thus increasing again the number requiring financial assistance. The charities around town have closed their shops, cancelled fundraising events and are struggling to meet their commitments. It can be expected there will be an increase in donations when many will have cleared their wardrobes during the lockdown. But that is then, not now. With no big funerals, another source of income is much reduced. The Food Bank at the Dorford Centre is available for those in need and will take money as well as donations of non-perishable food items.

In addition to the supermarkets - if you can get a slot – many local shops and restaurants are now delivering – usually free of charge – though some have a minimum order value.

There are many kind and generous residents in Dorset but we are all affected in some way by this crisis. By helping each other – we can all do something – we will get through it and hopefully be an even better community when eventually it is over.

Vivienne Allan

Somerleigh Road