A new team of volunteers is being formed to enable older people to live independently for longer in the New Forest.

The British Red Cross is establishing the team, which will initially be based in Lymington with a Fordingbridge team to be established later.

The charity, which helps people in crisis all over the world, is recruiting volunteers for the project, who will keep people company for a few hours, help with practical tasks like shopping, collecting prescriptions and light meal preparation and providing respite for relatives or carers.

The service will be tailored to individuals, providing any of a mixture of services including mobility aids, hand, arm and shoulder massage and a range of fire and crime safety assessments.

Once the volunteer team has been recruited it is hoped people will be able to access the support from September.

The teams will be funded for an initial three-year period by a gift left to the Red Cross in a will.

The project will also benefit from money given by the Balfour Historic Museums Trust to pay for the delivery and collection of mobility aids.

The ideal candidate would be able to provide patient, positive encouragement with the aim of helping people to help themselves. Volunteers will be trained.

For more information contact Nicola Oldrieve on 07802 869319.

For more information on the British Red Cross go to redcross.org.uk.