Helping each other to combat the Coronavirus pandemic

A new volunteering group is being recruited from across Middlesbrough’s communities as the town strengthens its defences against the Covid-19 outbreak.

And Middlesbrough Council is also urging those in need of help and support to get in touch so assistance can be arranged for those who are not able to manage.

The Help Boro initiative comes amid a major escalation in the UK’s response to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The public have been told to avoid non-essential contact and travel, and to work from home where possible.

Those developing symptoms should ‘self-isolate’ for seven days if they live alone, and 14 days if they live with others.

A number of Middlesbrough Council buildings have been closed to the public for the foreseeable future, with staff working round the clock to deliver services through other channels.

The council now wants to hear from residents who can offer to help in a range of ways, as well as from those in need of help.

Would-be volunteers with spare time are being invited to get in touch to assist with tasks such as:

• Shopping
• Making meals
• Walking and taking care of your pets
• Someone to listen and support you
• Providing health advice and help with taking care of yourself

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said: “This situation is a massive challenge for everyone – but if we stick together then Middlesbrough can come through it in great shape.

“Our officers are working tirelessly to maintain services and support those in need – but if you need help, we want to hear from you and we’ll do what we can.

“We will need help along the way, so please consider volunteering if you can.”

To volunteer or to seek help, visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/helpboro

For those who may struggle to complete the online form, a dedicated team is on hand to provide assistance over the phone – call 01642 729777.

• For the latest local updates and information, visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/covid19

The latest advice from Government and Public Health England can be found at www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response