Two friends have joined forces to hand out care packages to the elderly and anyone self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rio Beardmore and Gary Hansbury have been hitting the streets of Stoke-on-Trent and doing their bit to help out during the current global crisis.
The packages include food, including canned tuna, corned beef, beans, salt and sugar, as well as toilet roll.
Rio, aged 48, from Newcastle-under-Lyme said: “We want to give something to the community and make our mark and help.
“It’s something we really wanted to do regardless of what it costs, it’s important now more than ever, at this moment in time we don’t care about work, it is gone, what we want to do is help, it’s a terrible situation happening and everyone can do their bit.
“We have been out in Bentilee and when we knock people’s doors we don’t even have to say anything and they are crying.
“There’s vulnerable people out there who need help and we are here to provide that.
“There was an incident which absolutely broke me. We were driving and we saw an elderly man standing at his doorstep in his boxers so I went to check if he was okay and he said he was waiting for someone to give him food, he said he will eat anything.
“That broke my heart.
“We got in our van and gave him a food package.”
The pair have already handed out a hundred packages but are hoping to help more people who need it.
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Hartshill pharmacy has donated 200 bottles of hand sanitiser which they will distribute next week.
An undisclosed amount of money has also been donated to the duo in the form of a cheque – from Pillarbox Lettings, in Hartshill.
The community support has been incredible but now Rio urges people to stop panic buying and clearing the shelves.
The locksmith added: “The current situation is crazy and people do not understand how to manage what they have got.
“We are hoarding things when we don’t need to and the way people are behaving is foolish and dishonourable.
“We don’t need to be wearing masks, all we need to do is stay two metres away from people and sanitise.
“It’s worse than the World Wars.
“It’s all about educating yourself and keeping your distance and the community needs to come together at this time.
“It’s incredibly important to look out for your neighbours and I think this whole situation will get more people talking to one another and communicating like it used to be in the past.”
If you are having to self isolate and are in need of Rio and Gary’s help you can contact them on 07833 548 600 or 07594 399 486.