A new listening and signposting service has been set up by Mountbatten to help people on the Isle of Wight stay connected during the coronavirus lockdown.

The hospice has extended its expert 24-hour coordination centre care, support and advice helpline to anyone who simply needs a friendly voice and some company.

It will be available 24 hours a day using trained staff and volunteers, working alongside Mountbatten nurses, who will continue to provide support and advice to patients and carers.

“It has never been so important to stay connected with our community, which is why we want to do all we can to help people,” said Mountbatten CEO Nigel Hartley.

“We know this is going to be a very challenging time for us all but even if we can make a small difference, we feel it is absolutely necessary.

“We are here for anyone and everyone who needs us.”

A grant from the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group has enabled Mountbatten to fund the new service, which was due to launch after Easter but brought forward following the outbreak of coronavirus.