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Everybody Needs Good Neighbours: Social Media Connecting The Elderly With Essential Items

An Aussie mum is using Facebook to help neighbours connect and deliver essential household goods to the elderly who have run out.

Katie Standish started by dropping flyers off in parts of Adelaide, offering to share grocery items with those who she thought might need help accessing the basics.

Standish wanted to help her community as panic buying due to coronavirus had left supermarket shelves empty.

The response was overwhelming - so she decided to start a Facebook page called Neighbours Helping Neighbours.

"I've had people crying on the phone to me asking for toilet paper, telling me they've been out for three days," Standish told 10 News First.

"That's the thing that kills me, is some of the calls that I've either picked up or listen to the messages are very touching."

Katie Standish shows some of the household items she gets requests for. Image: 10 News First

The system is specifically aimed at the elderly and vulnerable, some who have no one else turn to for help. It works by those in need leaving a voicemail and listing the items they're desperate for.

Standish then posts the requests on the Facebook page along with their suburb, and anyone who lives nearby that can spare any or all of the items can respond and drop them off.

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The page has only been up for 10 days, but it's already taking off. There are strict rules in place to ensure everybody's safety.

"So far we have had 100 per cent response. People are dropping things at doorsteps, ringing the doorbell and running, so it's zero contact. It's just a drop-and-run service," Standish said.

It's not hoarding, it's sharing. It's really just operating on the basic principles that we teach our children, and that's to share.

What Standish needs now, is help to spread the word, so the group of helping hands can reach as many struggling people as possible, as well as more volunteers.

I just think there's no shame in asking for help ... some people just don't feel comfortable but it's okay.

"We're not alone. No one's alone in this struggle right now. And we just have to help each other out. That's it."

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At the moment Standish said she is answering all the calls herself, and she's hoping one day a more streamlined hotline might be able to be established so that more people can assist.

Find out more about Neighbours Helping Neighbours on their website.