Community support in Somerset

Based in Wiveliscombe, Wivey Cares was set up in 2018 in response to the growing challenge of caring for the elderly in the area.

To ensure the charity can continue to support vulnerable people during these difficult times, we’ve provided it with funding to help cover the cost of a coordinator.

We spoke with Joanna Forrester, who volunteers at Wivey Cares, to find out more about the charity… 

How does Wivey Cares support its community? 

Joanna: The charity was originally set up to provide volunteer carers to the elderly in the town. We have now expanded our offering to support all adults experiencing loneliness, while also providing additional services, including meal deliveries and memory cafés. 

What’s your role at the charity? 

Joanna: I started volunteering at Wivey Cares in 2019. My first role involved helping a local woman by taking her to social events and maintaining her garden. I have also provided bed-side assistance and a transport service to other beneficiaries. Recently, I’ve been taking a local woman out for a coffee and helping her with her shopping.

Joanna, who is an avid cyclist, taking her bike for a ride in Wiveliscombe.

Why did you become a volunteer?

Joanna: When my father developed vascular dementia 15 years ago and my mother was struggling to take care of him, I was gutted that I lived too far away to help. I always wished there was someone in the area who could help them out, so when the opportunity presented itself to be that person in Wiveliscombe I wanted to be involved!

How has Covid-19 impacted your volunteering? 

Joanna: When the pandemic began, there was a need for us to deliver food and prescriptions to households across Wiveliscombe. Our local food shops and pharmacies made this process as simple as possible which is a testament to the town’s community spirit. 

How will our funding help the charity? 

Joanna: At the moment, there is only one paid worker who works for a few hours a week coordinating activities. As a result of Covid-19, we require her to work more often. Wessex Water’s funding will help the charity to increase her hours, enabling us to support our community more effectively!

Find out more about Wivey Cares at