More than 1,000 calls have been made by a support group that is helping to provide a voice in a vacuum of isolation.

The Stanwix and Houghton Coronavirus Support Group was set up in April by local resident and Liberal Democrat candidate for the ward, Brian Wernham.

The group has delivered information cards with support, offering a lifeline to residents.

They’ve also been calling people to check if they are okay and to ask if they need any help with tasks such as shopping and medicine collection.

Coordinator Fiona Mullen, 43, has been working full-time as a volunteer after she was furloughed and later made redundant.

“The members who started Brian’s group started on the 30th of March. I have been making 20 to 30 calls a day since.

“The biggest issue we have is people who have families who are old and are getting support themselves or family live abroad and they have no support at all.

“One lady I spoke to for a few hours because she was lonely. Another lady had no heating and somebody had left an electric heater for her to use in the bathroom.

“We managed to get hold of the fire service and they went out to put in smoke alarms.”

Many people who have been helped by the group feel like they’ve been left behind.

“A man called Ian, who is 79, his daughter lives in York so I have been picking up his prescriptions for him.

“His daughter said it was his birthday, so we organised a cake and his daughter transferred money and we got him his favourite gin. We also sorted a card, which another lady made.”

Such is her contribution to the community, that Fiona was given an award by Cumbria’s High Sheriff. She is just one of 50 volunteers who have been providing a vital service.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, most people we call are very appreciative,” explained 16-year-old volunteer Rozzie Weir.

To help volunteer, call 07815 618187.

If you’ve been missed by the group, call 01228 493511.