TWO volunteers in Bellingham have been praised for being “an inspiration to the community” by organising deliveries for vulnerable people in self-isolation.

The Hexham Courant has launched its Bouquet of the Week feature to celebrate the citizens who are going above and beyond to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben and Martin Dickson-Green have been working with other volunteers to support people who should not be going out to do their shopping, providing deliveries to doors every morning across the village.

They have also been helping the local chemist, which has seen an increase in demand for deliveries, by delivering prescriptions around the village and allowing the chemist’s delivery to focus on other areas in the North Tyne.

Ben is the parish clerk and Martin is a parish councillor, so they have been managing calls for support coming into the parish council and co-ordinating volunteers who have offered their time to help, with 14 people so far offering their services.

Frank and Pam Mattinson live in the village and are in isolation, relying on the support of volunteers including Ben and Martin.

Their daughter Nikki York, who was one of the residents to nominate Ben and Martin for bouquet of the week, said: “They do so much for the village and during lockdown you just ring them and they will get your groceries, prescriptions and always willing to help however they can.

“They have also set up a virtual pub quiz on Fridays. They always seem to be looking after the village people however they can. Both an inspiration to the community.”

Their service sees them visiting local shops such as the Co-op and the newsagents to pick up people’s essentials, before paying for them themselves. They use a contactless card reader on a stick, keeping them two metres away from people, for people to pay them back via contactless payment.

Martin said that as of Friday, they had completed 158 drop-offs and 59 prescription deliveries, with 35 people signed up to have their groceries delivered. He said it had been a team effort between themselves, volunteers and local shops. “We might be the only person someone sees that day, so to have a smiling face and a quick chat in the morning could make their day.”

The virtual pub-less quiz sees residents take part from home via the parish council’s Facebook page. Although it started as a bit of fun and there are no prizes, it has been a hit with residents.

Martin said: “We had 44 households take part last week, and we are told we have someone’s family from Canada joining us so we are going a bit outside of the confines of Bellingham now! It’s just a bit of daftness and banter and a way to get everybody together, and it’s been really well received so we have kept going with it.”