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Coronavirus Kent: Sevenoaks business Close to Hand opens up its home helpers network for free

A network of home helpers is opening up its services for free to help isolated older residents affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Sevenoaks business owner Lindsey Nathan came up with the idea of Close to Hand after establishing a care agency with her mum and sister.

Helpers carry out basic tasks like delivering milk and newspapers.
Helpers carry out basic tasks like delivering milk and newspapers.

The mum-of-two identified a need for more 'ad hoc' and flexible work rather than just professional care for older residents.

She describes the network, which now has more than 500 registered at its Tunbridge Wells base, as a "matchmaking" service but for basic errands.

Now Lindsey is opening up the platform for free until the end of May to allow people across Kent to connect and source the help they need.

During the pandemic, local helpers will be focussing on shopping, doorstep delivery, prescription collection or just a friendly phone.

She said: "I thought I have the infrastructure already, how can I not open it up to people?

Lindsey Nathan founded the group after setting up a live in care home agency.
Lindsey Nathan founded the group after setting up a live in care home agency.

"Generally, when we find there are times of trouble there are so many people who want to help.

"I am a believer in good old fashioned community spirit and I am using technology to bring local people together when they need it most."

To find out more about the service or to enrol as a hired helper or volunteer click here.

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