IT IS a lifeline to older people across a Hampshire city.

The Winchester Live at Home Scheme provides support, friendship and a full calendar of activities to help elderly people keep their independence.

Now the six members of staff who run the scheme have been nominated for the Daily Echo’s Community Star Campaign, which recognises those who go the extra mile to help those around them.

Scheme manager Claire Morgan runs the service, based at the United Church in Jewry Street, with the support of assistant managers Ros Simpson and Anna Miles, administrator Jenny Atkins, transport coordinator Jill Tansley and befriending coordinator Suzy Gardiner, as well as a team of volunteers.

Between them, they host exercise classes, singing groups, lunch clubs, and coffee mornings and run befriending services in return for optional donations from those who benefit from it.

The organisation was nominated by great-grandmother-of-two Judith Steventon Baker who has been part of their walking group for the last five years.

The 74-year-old from Kings Worthy said: “The girls who do it are absolutely amazing and I think someone should say how good they really are.

“We always get a birthday card from them and for some people it could be the only birthday card they get.

“If it wasn’t for the Live at Home Scheme I would be on my own for a lot of the time and in four or five years’ time I might not be so well.”

The Community Star campaign, in association with Aster, will run until Friday, August 22, when Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray, Aster's regional director Jean Dalziel and their customer board member John Cockaday will choose the winners.

First place will receive £500 and £250 to a charity of their choice, second place will be given £250 and £100 to charity, then six highly commended nominations will be given £100 and £50 to charity.

A community star can be any member of the public who goes above and beyond to serve their community.