A FARM worker who was desperately trying to leave New Zealand to help his dad who has coronavirus has managed to get a flight home with a bit of help from The Westmorland Gazette.

William Irvine had been refused flights amid the worldwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 20-year-old wanted to get back to help his dad Alistair with the start of lambing season on their family farm at High Wray near Ambleside.

This was particularly vital as his father had tested positive for COVID-19.

But when kind-hearted readers saw our article about William’s plight they offered him their flight home.

He is now back helping out on the farm, after getting back to the UK on Saturday.

Dad Alastair is also working on the farm again after recovering from the virus.

Amy Irvine, Alastair’s daughter, said: “He got back on the Saturday (March 28), and it is just a relief to have my brother back to help out on the farm really, as my dad still gets tired easily.

“I am grateful that (dad) has come out the other side of it now but I am also thankful to the people that donated the flight to get (William) home."

The people who gave William the flight wish to remain anonymous.

The flights took him from New Zealand to Los Angles in USA, then to the UK to be reunited with Alistair.

Other readers also got in touch with offers of help having read our article.

David Fellows, who lives near Ulverston, offered his flights to Will before he was given them by someone else.

He said: “I saw someone was in need and wanted to help.

“We coincidentally already had flights booked but chose to no longer board the flights due to the lockdown.

“I read the story about Will being stuck in New Zealand and wanted to help.

“We were going to cancel our flights anyway so it only made sense to offer them to someone who really needs them.”

William travelled to New Zealand in September to work for an agricultural contractor for the summer season.

He and his friend Dan Kane, from Northern Ireland, met through work and were both trying to get home.

After already getting a flight offered to him, William kindly asked if the offer he received from Mr Fellows could go to his friend Dan, as he was still looking to get a flight home as well.

Money had become an issue for the two of them, as well as many others during the crisis.

“With no help or guidance from anyone we had to book a hostel for a month for the two of us, costing $13000 of money we really don’t have,” he said.