Clinton Devon Estates staff in North Devon have formed a rural support network to help vulnerable people in the community during the coronavirus crisis.

The Malt Scoop Inn at Merton has a charity table with free donations for people who need a little help during the coronavirus crisis.The Malt Scoop Inn at Merton has a charity table with free donations for people who need a little help during the coronavirus crisis.

Led by supervisor Roger Tinson, the team have been collecting and delivering medication and shopping for elderly or vulnerable residents who are self-isolating and unable to leave their homes.

They are tenants of properties located on the Heanton Estate in Merton, which is one of three estates owned and managed by Clinton Devon Estates, a land and property management business which has its headquarters in East Devon.

Many of the elderly residents are having to stay at home for up to 12 weeks, as they follow government guidance, which is why Roger and his colleagues have stepped in, along with some of those tenants who have offered to help out.

Roger said: “The network here is very good and we have managed to get a good system going.

Clinton Estates' Luke Aris and Roger Tinson doing the rounds as part of the company's community support for elderly residents.Clinton Estates' Luke Aris and Roger Tinson doing the rounds as part of the company's community support for elderly residents.

“Dianne Nancekivell at the post office fields any enquiries or requests through to me and then we are able to get out to people and help wherever we can. It might be picking up a prescription or some essential food shopping, or in some cases providing a listening ear.

“Becky, the landlady of our local pub the Malt Scoop Inn, has also set up a charity table outside, where people can drop off or collect any produce they might need. The community spirit is very strong.”

Roger added that for many of the elderly residents, a chance to simply have a chat, while observing social distancing guidelines, is one of the things they appreciate the most at this time.

He said: “That’s what they are missing really, personal contact. For many of them, a bus trip to the shops is the highlight of their week and they miss that terribly.

“A lot of people forget not everyone has the internet so it can be really difficult for them. We will continue to do all we can for as long as we are needed.”

For general coronavirus advice and on staying at home, go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19 .