Garstang residents set up their own Volunteer Force to help locals through coronavirus crisis

Charlie Collinson pictured outside Garstang Sports and Social Club
Charlie Collinson pictured outside Garstang Sports and Social Club

Garstang proved again this week it is a town with a big heart.

Residents have opted to create their own volunteer force to help those whose lives could be affected by coronavirus.

The Garstang Volunteer Force has been set up to help deal with the challenges residents, especially those who are housebound or older, could face as more people self isolate or are affected by illness.

The Force was the idea of Garstang Sports Club Trustee Charlie Collinson. He and Mary Randles are its volunteer coordinators.

More than 40 people attended a public meeting at the club. Many who could not attend have also volunteered their assistance.

Mary said: “We know that a lot of elderly people don’t have internet access and don’t have social media so they’ve no means of contacting people.”

A priority will be providing assistance with shopping. Orders will be delivered to people’s homes.

Mary said: “We’ve got Booths, Aldi and the Co-op at Catterall on board and we’ll do the collecting and delivering. We’ve got it so that every volunteer who answers the helpline is DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) cleared as are the volunteers who will be delivering. We thought that was important - it reassures people.”

The Bellflower pub has also volunteered to act as a drop off point for donations for those running short of essential supplies such as nappies.

The phone helplines will be open from Monday daily 10am - 4pm and are:07493 557975 and 07340 568400.

Mary added: “We won’t be giving medical advice and opinion.”