The Covid-19 lockdown has made the physical screening of new volunteers a "no-go", but Volunteer Whanganui manager Sandra Rickey has urged the 1000 or so members who are already registered to get in contact with the agency.

"Our volunteers that are home with their families need to stay there," Rickey said.

"A lot of them are over the ages of 70 as well."

Rickey said Volunteer Whanganui was completely autonomous, but its aim was to work with other volunteer organisations and "channel help into a range of other places".

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"All those who are registered and physically able should call my office, or my cell phone between 9am and 4pm," Rickey said.

"What I'm trying to do at the moment is reach out to other places around town, like Age Concern and the City Mission, to see what we can do to help.

"It's important that the people we provide are fully screened, and we can safely say that those that are already on our database have passed all our tests.

"This is what we're here for, providing people to places around town that need extra help."

Rickey said that the Covid-19 pandemic had "put everyone on edge".

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Whanganui has gone into lockdown and the town is very quiet. Video / Bevan Conley for the Whanganui Chronicle

"I don't scare easy, but when I heard on the news that we were moving up to a level four lockdown, for the first time I felt scared," Rickey said.

"What helped erase that was thinking 'I need to do something'.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

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"Whanganui got through the terrible floods a few years ago, and we can get through this together too.

"I want to stress that we have very strict guidelines in place for our volunteers, and we need to know them as well as possible.

"We have 1088 people on our database, and we support 105 organisations around town.

"This is the time for them to get in touch."

Volunteer Whanganui manager Sandra Rickey. Photo / File
Volunteer Whanganui manager Sandra Rickey. Photo / File

To contact Sandra Rickey at Volunteer Whanganui, call 06 347 9430 or 027 510 0134.

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