A CARE agency in Hedge End is "begging" people to donate masks, gloves and hand sanitiser so they can protect their elderly clients from contracting the coronavirus.

Staff at the Amberley Care Agency on Watkin Road in Hedge End has appealed to local businesses and residents to donate the vital supplies so that they can keep on caring for their clients, majority of whom are over the age of 85 and are most vulnerable to the virus.

The usual supplier of these items is no longer providing them in enough quantities to care facilities, as front line workers in the NHS are being prioritised.

Owner, Katie Hankins is "begging from the bottom of her heart" that face masks, gloves, aprons and hand sanitiser are donated, because without them, many of her clients "could die".

The 49-year-old said: "We provide care to residents all over Eastleigh and Southampton, and without the proper equipment, this could spread even more and fill up the hospitals. I understand the hospitals are front line but soon they're going to get full up with all of our clients.

"My carers are putting themselves at risk, we've told client's family members not to visit them to reduce the spread. Many of our clients are over the age of 85 and can't leave their houses. They need care but if they were to catch it, they would die.

"This is a joke! When they're gone, they're gone. I'm very stressed and I'm begging for help."

The care agency is registered to to provide Domiciliary Care to adults and older people across Eastleigh and Southampton.

A full range of care is provided, from shopping and companionship to full personal care.

Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House said: "It is vital that the government gets essential supplies like masks and hand sanitisers into care homes.

"Elderly lives are at risk. Care providers should not have to ask for donations but any help that anyone can give will be appreciated, especially as the government is still failing on this basis responsibility."