A Coronavirus helpline has been declared a success as it helped thousands of shielding Hampshire residents during lockdown.

The Hantshelp4vunerbale helpline was launched by Hampshire councils for shielding residents who do not have support from family and friends and who need urgent help, assistance with shopping and collecting medication or at risk of loneliness.

At its peak, the helpline was making and receiving 600 calls a day with over 6000 referrals for support since April.

The support line is now scaling back operations as life starts to return to normal.

The helpline which was created by Hampshire County Council, the county’s 11 district and borough councils and local voluntary groups will now revert to a weekday only operation

From Saturday 1 August, the Hantshelp4vunerable helpline will be available 9am to 5pm Monday – Thursday and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

Graham Allen, Hampshire County Council’s Director of Adults’ Health and Care, said: “When lockdown began, we knew that there would potentially be a large number of vulnerable and shielding residents who did not have friends and family locally to support with essential supplies.

“It is important to stress that we can increase the service to seven days a week again, should we need to. In the meantime, a huge thanks to everyone who has worked so hard over the course of the past few weeks to get the right support to the those who’ve really needed it – our job is not yet done, but for now, with the advice for those who have been shielding due to change, it is right that we scale our service back, albeit slightly.”

The county council helpline can be contacted on 0333 370 4000.