Isle of Man TT winner James Hillier is offering to help those in self-isolation due to the coronavirus in the UK with delivery of essential grocery shopping.
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded the 2000 mark in the last 24 hours, the UK government is advising against all non-essential travel and gatherings, while an enforced quarantine on the elderly – deemed an at-risk group – is set to be introduced.
As the crisis has unfolded, panic-buying has decimated shelves in shops across the UK and that has made securing essential items an issue – particularly for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, who are unable to get to the shops.
Road racer Hillier, who owns his own motorcycle parts company Yourmotobike, has offered to carry out shopping and help with delivery of the items should anyone reach out.
Hillier says he was prompted to try and help in any way he can after helping his grandparents with online shopping proving difficult due to panic-buying leading to high demand.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, the 2013 Lightweight TT winner said: “I’ve got an idea I would like to put out there, if one person takes me up on it, it will be worthwhile.
“But I have here an online motorcycle parts store with the label printer and Royal Mail postal accounts all set up, and can send things on a 24 or a 48-hour delivery.
“What made me think of this was earlier I was trying to help my grandparents out who are currently in isolation at home.
“They have food currently, but nobody quite knows how long they’ll be in for, but the next available [food] delivery was 10 days away – and that was on a main big supermarket, click and drop.
“It’s obviously in high demand right now, which isn’t really good enough I don’t think, and there will be people who can’t wait that long, who can’t get out their house, who don’t have family near them that can drop the products off, or food off or whatever they need.
“And if, like me, your family is spread out all over the country, then it’s not easy and not everybody’s got someone local who can assist them.
“So my theory and plan is to maybe offer some sort of delivery service. I can send products from here, I can go to the shop and purchase them obviously subject to availability and demand.
“I can parcel them up and send them out to the addresses you need if required.”
He added: “It’s important that everybody who can, can try to take a little load off [others who are struggling] and share, and we need to really work as a team to get through this.
“The country has to unite. The country is in a weird place right now. If you are one of these people bulk buying, then big shame on you.
“It’s really selfish. Just try and think of other people and look after everybody, it’s not just about you.
“It’s really critical at times like this that we look after as many people as we can and just think outside the box a little bit.”
Earlier this week, the Isle of Man government was forced to cancel this year’s TT races due to the coronavirus, while the North West 200 – at which Hillier won last season – has been postponed.
Hillier had been due to contest both events with road racing debutants OMG Racing on BMW and Yamaha machinery backed by ex-Haas Formula 1 sponsor Rich Energy.
If you require the help Hillier is offering, contact email@example.com or call 01202 810480.