Volunteer army hits the mark in Mandurah

Volunteers Shirley and Tony Iannello pictured with Farmer Jacks' Matt Millner and Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup. Photo: Supplied.

Volunteers Shirley and Tony Iannello pictured with Farmer Jacks' Matt Millner and Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup. Photo: Supplied.

An "army" of several hundred volunteers has filled a significant void in the Peel region community during the the COVID-19 crisis.

Galvanised by Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup, more than 800 volunteers quickly responded to the call out, pitching in at community groups who had seen their usual workload affected by the pandemic.

Working from a database, the volunteers attempted to phone every resident aged 65-74 and sent letters to people aged over 74 years.

The tasks they carried out varied from collecting and delivering groceries and pharmacy items to making ongoing welfare calls.

The team worked closely with dog walkers from Pets of Older People (POOPS), coordinated care packages for indigenous families via Ochre Sporting Association and put together packages for Pat Thomas House clients impacted by domestic violence.

They also teamed up with local Halls Head supermarket Farmer Jacks to ensure a pay by phone system was implemented for seniors in need of groceries.

"What we identified quickly was our community's normal support groups had been impacted with disruption due to coronavirus, and their usual volunteers had reduced considerably because of COVID-19 restrictions and impact," Mr Kirkup said.

"I want to ensure we're looking out for everyone in our community, particularly those who have vulnerable health and might not be able to do as much due to the coronavirus circumstances."

Among the volunteers are husband and wife duo Tony and Shirley Iannello, who spend several hours every week pitching in for the community.

"Shirley and I feel it is a privilege to help out at this time - we think people are our most precious commodity and it's so important to look after each other," Tony said.

Seniors in need of any assistance are urged to contact Mr Kirkup's office on 9534 3200.