Marc Jobson, manager of Budleigh's health and wellbring hub, writes for the Journal

We all know that this time of year is particularly difficult for those who may be lonely, isolated or who may have recently lost a loved-one.

Compound that with the pandemic and tier two regulations it is no wonder some people in our community are more upset than ever before.

We all know that. But have you done something about it? Probably not.

The good news is that it is never too late to help someone on your street: send them a letter offering your help; drop them a small bunch of flowers wishing them a happy new year or even just smile and make conversation.

At the time of writing it is a few days before Christmas. I, along with staff and volunteers from the Hub have spent the morning delivering food hampers (kindly donated by the Lions) to people in Woodbury, Budleigh and Exmouth.

Every hamper handover is a choregraphed affair of social distancing and bewilderment followed by smiles, amazement and a jolly good conversation.

One gentleman, recently bereaved, commented that the Hub had been 'amazing' after we had transported him daily to see his terminally ill wife. I suspect the doorstep conversation we had was his only interaction with anybody this week.

I am not sure who went away from our conversation happy, me or him. To say I felt rewarded and proud of the staff and volunteers who had been supporting him was an understatement.

Our volunteers have also been out delivering hot Christmas meals together with mince pies, chocolates and crackers which have been kindly provided by Palmers CO-OP funeral care.

A big thank you them for supporting their community. Volunteers have returned beaming with more uplifting doorstep conversations.

I reference these events not to be pious but to inspire you to do the same. Be selfish and make yourself happy, by making others happy.

We also had father Christmas visit our Carousel nursery children. Don’t tell them but it was actually Roger Vann, who’s Christmas wish was to dress up as father Christmas.

The Hub and many other organisations offer many varied volunteering opportunities. Contact us on 446896 to find out how we can help you to help others.