Annie Maw, Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset i

Somerset’s residents are being asked to keep up good work by ‘being good neighbours’ for residents who are continuing to shield during the Coronavirus restrictions.

Annie Maw, Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, pictured, is in one of the groups asked to continue shielding. She says: “The thing which unites us is that we have been advised to be especially careful to avoid being exposed to the virus because it might make us extremely unwell.  For some of us, to contract Covid-19 might put our life in danger.”

“I am learning to re-work my life and to find fulfilment in different ways and, surprisingly, this has been a great opportunity to ‘find’ people who I have not known about until now and to support and thank them in a way which would not have formerly been possible.”

“I have also found that there is, at the end of the telephone or email, a great deal of kindness and compassion.”

“None of us are on our own.  We have all that we need here in our marvelous county and we will survive this if we stick together.”

People who are shielding, because of their age or an underlying health condition, have received further Government advice they need to continue to stay at home and avoid all non-essential face-to-face contact until at least 30th June as they are the most vulnerable to Coronavirus.

They should continue to seek help in getting shopping, prescriptions, dog-walking and other essentials and make sure they keep in contact with those who have provided the support so far.

Somerset has been overwhelmed by the offers of help that poured in when lockdown started in March. Community groups have sprung into action, council staff have been redeployed to strengthen the response, and Community and Village Agents have worked round the clock to provide support.

More than 1,300 people signed up with Spark Somerset as Corona Helper Volunteers, with Spark providing help and advice to community groups and volunteers

People can still sign up as Corona Helpers – log on to to register as a volunteer. Those who have signed up to NHS Responders are encouraged to contact Spark Somerset on 01460 202970 or email to be linked into opportunities locally.

The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, makes it easier for people to access any local authority help they may need, including emotional support, during the current crisis. Lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.

For more information about local authorities’ response to Coronavirus, please check out your District Council web pages or Somerset County Council on


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