THE chief executive of Cotswold Friends have spoken to reassure users who feel anxious about losing support as the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

Amanda Howard said that during the lockdown and shielding period Cotswold Friends has supported over 1,000 people a week with shopping, medicine delivery, telephone befriending and transport for critical medical appointments.

In addition to supporting people directly Cotswold Friends has received over 30,000 phone calls, emails and social media contacts in the period, many of which were asking for help.

Ms Howard said: "As the Government lifts lockdown, including the end of shielding on July 31, many people are feeling a little anxious about losing their Covid-19 support. For those people who will no longer receive food parcels and those people who have relied on community volunteers to shop for them and deliver their medicines, this could be a difficult time. Please don’t worry.

"Cotswold Friends is available to continue to take your calls and provide support. We can provide a weekly visitor to give you someone to chat to for company and reassurance.

"In some cases your visitor can accompany you as you start to get out and about again and do your own shopping and pharmacy collection. Sometimes we all need a little extra support.

"Many people have had hospital, and other appointments such as dentists, delayed because of Covid-19 and these appointments are now beginning to be booked again.

"Cotswold Friends Community Transport service continues to be available to take people to their appointments.

"For a small donation (50p) we will provide a mask for you to wear. We are also taking people to post offices and banks as we realise that many people now need to access these services. We will do our best to accommodate your hair appointments and family visits too!"

"If you have any other worries please do get in touch, it often helps just to chat. You can contact us by phoning 01608 651415."

Ms Howard went on to appeal for volunteers to help.

"Now more than ever we need people to come forward and volunteer. We need drivers, befrienders, shopping supporters, people to provide carers with a much-needed break so they can attend their own medical appointments and enjoy some time away from their caring responsibilities.

"Many carers look after someone who is shielding and have not been able to leave their home for months.

"Our Lunch Clubs, Men in Sheds and other groups are slowly beginning to open again and we need more lead volunteers and escorts."

To find out more about volunteering, call or email George to have a chat about volunteering for Cotswold Friends on 01608 697007 or at

The number for transport bookings is 01608 651115, for befriending and carer respite is 01608 652019 or email Lines are open Monday to Friday 9.30am- 3.30pm.