A Covid-19 helpline introduced last year has been 'inundated' with calls during the pandemic, a kindness ambassador has said.

The Grange and Peninsula (GAP) helpline run by Light Up Lives CIC provides prescription collection services, shop runs, daily bread deliveries, and wellbeing calls for residents in south Cumbria.

Janet Carter, the kindness ambassador who set this up in March, said they had managed to help many people in the area and even received High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Award and a Community Hero Award during 2020 for the work on the helpline.

"Since the coronavirus pandemic kicked in, the community work I have been involved with has evolved unbelievably," she said.

"The helpline comes from Light Up Lives CIC which was set up at the Victoria Hall in Grange in 2018.

"It is about reaching that one individual that is missed or those people that do not like going to those bigger events set up by charities."

The Lyth Valley resident said she was inspired to start the helpline after being in hospital with her husband where she described the Covid wards as 'quite a scary experience.'

The helpline started small with only a small number of volunteers as well as Janet on the phone line, which is now open Monday to Friday, 10am until 3pm.

Now, they are delighted to say they have taken on some volunteers as part-time staff, who still do work volunteer hours.

They have been real stars of the community helping with the vaccine rollout in Grange more recently while adapting constantly to new situations the pandemic is throwing their way.

"We are supported by the town council, Cumbria County Council, and South Lakeland District Council," Janet said.

"We started our helpline two weeks before the NHS and the council.

"We have been inundated with calls, and some have been quite traumatic.

"Because we don't have all the red tape that big charities such as Age UK have we can adapt quickly to the ever-changing situations being brought in.

"We are big on kindness and kindness to the planet.

"One of the less detailed light-hearted success stories is one of our volunteers has adopted a little dog that was one of our initial helpline users who struggled to walk him.

"He is a proper little character!"

The community group, which is always on the lookout for more volunteers, can be called by those in need of their help on 07780973997.