Map shows where the most elderly people live and need to be looked out for
PUBLISHED: 12:21 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:21 25 March 2020
North Norfolk, home to the oldest population in the country, is mobilising hundreds of volunteers to help people through the coronavirus pandemic.
A quarter of north Norfolk is aged 70 and over - the highest percentage in England and Wales - according to numbers released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday.
The ONS said it had published a map revealing which neighbourhoods have the highest proportion of older people, as they are most likely to need the most help to get through the crisis.
Neighbourhoods in Cromer and Downham Market have the biggest share of older people in Norfolk, with more than 40pc aged over 70.
Broadland, West Norfolk and Breckland are also among the top 50 places in the country with the oldest population.
David Russell, 79, from Roughton, near Cromer, said he had been worried since Wednesday about not getting oil delivered for his heating and hot water.
“We feel isolated,” he said. “The supplier said I would have to wait until April, but I said ‘I’m a vulnerable person’ and I got it delivered in four days.”
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His wife Mary, 77, has asthma and they have been avoiding going out other than to hospital appointments.
“A lot of rural areas rely on their oil supplies so I feel much more secure now I’ve got it,” he added.
In Cromer a group of more than 100 volunteers, called Cromer Cares, is delivering prescriptions, food packages and helping older people with their bins.
North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker said he had been “absolutely overwhelmed” by the acts of kindness and generosity to support the most vulnerable.
“I am confident that north Norfolk will be adequately prepared and we will all work together to achieve that,” he said.
North Norfolk District Council, along with all other councils, is co-ordinating the effort by building a list of volunteer groups.
Council leader Sarah Butikofer said: “We are looking at how we best support our over 70s. We will be getting people extra help.”
• To get help in North Norfolk from the council on anything related to coronavirus call 01263 516000.