SNOW and ice were no match for community workers who battled through blustery winds and perilous pathways to treat patients and visit the lonely.

Community heroes forced to ditch their cars due to impassable roads braved the snow on foot to care for residents. Karen Nicoll, a community builder with Essex Fire Service was out on Thursday around the Harwich area helping those in need.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

She said: “I carry out visits to vulnerable community members referred from other agencies.

“But as I couldn’t get my car out on Thursday morning I had a walk around the community, any path of fresh snow with no footsteps to a house I just knocked and checked up on people.

“I had a lovely chat with a lady that hasn’t seen anyone in a few days.”

Community nurses run by Anglian Community Enterprise also braved the snow to care for patients throughout the week.

There are two locality teams, covering the whole Tendring area, based at Kennedy House in Clacton, and Fryatt Hospital in Dovercourt, responsible for attending to and treating patients in their own homes who can't get to their GP surgeries or hospital appointments.

Lisa Batchelor, assistant practitioner, Tendring north community nurses, said: “Many members of staff were unable to get to the normal area of work, but members who live throughout Tendring were able to provide services to the patients who live within walking distance of their homes.

“Staff on days off or annual leave also offered to help out in any way they could, and also ventured selflessly into the snow.

“Many staff members also made themselves available during the evenings and overnight in order to assist with covering any emergency visits that needed to be completed.

"Despite having to make their way between patients on foot in poor treacherous conditions, and having to carry any equipment they may need, they were able to pull together.

"To deliver this level of care to such a high number of vulnerable patients during a very difficult period is testament to the dedication of the whole of the community nursing team."

Acorn Village, a residential care community for adults with learning difficulties in Mistley closed to the public on Thursday.

A spokesman said: "Like everyone the snow has been challenging but it has re-confirmed just how wonderful our dedicated staff are.

"Night staff have stayed late and people have come in early to ensure adults with learning disabilities continue to be supported.

"We closed the coffee shop and charity shop as our volunteers and public safety is always our priority.

"But there has also been lots of enjoyment in the weather, with snowmen and snow-rounders being played."

Debbie Burrows, Oxford Road, Manningtree, said the community has come together in the poor weather conditions.

She said: "There has been lots of offers from the community to help the elderly and people with young children - people have been using Facebook to warn people about the travel.

"The main roads were gritted although I think Trinity Road was bit treacherous on Wednesday."

Debbie said people's boilers have been breaking down and and there has been no diesel at Lawford fuel station.

She added: "Generally there has been a great sense of community and people are looking out for one another."