A COMMUNITY champion has launched an essential food delivery service for elderly, isolated and vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Edward Bell, 28, is the chairman of Tendring Eldercare, in Clacton, which has acted as an independent day centre and lunch club for the older generation for almost 40 years.

The King’s Road facility, however, is now temporarily shut, following the outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen elderly residents told to stay indoors.

Unable to provide the daily support, Mr Bell, alongside close friend and charity trustee Mark Platt, has now started up the Emergency Essential Food Delivery Service.

The initiative is designed to assist the community’s most vulnerable during the pandemic by delivering food and essential supplies straight to their door, free of charge.

“These are real people and they are scared, and there is so much more we can all do to help so many,” said Mr Bell.

“I spoke to one gentleman who said he has lived through the Blitz, but nothing frightens him as much as this virus does.

“We can provide provisions to last a few days or a week to help those in isolation and we are determined to see that no member of our community goes hungry.”

Each parcel includes everything from toilet roll, biscuits, pasta and tea bags, to sugar, vegetables and long-life milk and costs £10 to produce.

Some of the gift bags of goodies, which have been filled using items from Aldi supermarkets and Walton Market, also come with a bouquet of flowers.

Mr Bell is now appealing to residents to donate to the scheme so they can continue to provide to those most in need throughout the duration of the crisis.

“This project really wouldn’t be possible without the incredible team of volunteers we have working with us,” he said.

“But this is a time where we must all come together and support the community.

“We created and delivered more than 80 emergency food parcels in our first five days, but each one costs £10 to create.

“So, if you are in position to help, then you can donate directly – and please let us know of anyone in need of support.”

For more information visit tendringeldercare.co.uk.