DINAS Powys Voluntary Concern (DPVC) has successfully responded to the current coronavirus pandemic crisis by restructuring the services provided by the charity.

Charity chairman, councillor John Fanshaw said: “We are concentrating on providing help and support across the whole of our local community, regardless of age, to those who are self-isolating, shielded, or finding things difficult at this difficult time.

“We have dealt with 362 enquiries of which 44 were for lifts in the caddy to medical appointments.

“Our brilliant volunteers are helping to meet basic shopping needs for those unable to leave their homes.

“At the present time, the medical centre transport VW Caddy is being used for transporting passengers, to collect and deliver prescriptions, and sometimes to deliver groceries.

“Murchfield Community Centre is now a collection point for donations for the Vale Foodbank, and we are grateful for the generosity of our local residents.”

The minibus cannot be used for its usual purpose of taking elderly residents’ shopping or to social clubs.

The charity’s coordinators recently found out about a community transport group that was using their vehicle to provide a book and puzzles swapping service, parking on designated streets where people could collect books from them.

They consulted them to find out details of how it worked to ensure that safety, social distancing, quarantine of books etc was in place.

The first job was to find a driver and escort and volunteer minibus drivers willingly offered to support the scheme.

At first, there was uncertainty as to whether they would receive enough book donations but that was not a problem.

It is intended to trial a small area around Fairoaks sheltered housing on Wednesday, May 27, and if this is a success, and safe, to expand to other areas in the village.

“We are also providing jigsaws and would be grateful for donations of these and large print books, Cllr Fanshaw said.

“The support and enthusiasm we are receiving from our local community for this and other initiatives by our two DPVC coordinators are proving invaluable and heart-warming.”