A SPECIAL helpline has been set up to help Silsden people in need during the coronavirus crisis.

A team of volunteers staff a virtual call centre where requests for help are routed to people’s houses around the town. The call handlers can signpost people towards organisations and services that can help them, or task one of their own volunteers to support the caller.

Ray Colling, spokesman for the Silsden Emergency Planning Group, said: “It’s been quite a lot of work technically to get it all set up. The helpline is mainly aimed at those who don’t have a neighbour, friend or relative who they can ask to undertake errands or tasks for them.

“It could be anything from needing food or essential supplies, to posting some mail, walking a dog, or providing help topping up pre-paid electricity or gas supplies.

“This is what our town has been waiting for and needing during this crisis. It is an initiative run entirely by the local community for the local community, inspired by our determination that no-one, whatever their age and home circumstances, should feel isolated and abandoned by their fellow residents at this time of great anxiety. 

“Thanks to our team of skilled organisers and dedicated local volunteers, the Silsden Helpline will offer support with a whole variety of needs, from the practical to the emotional. Working and sharing together, we will meet the challenge of the coming days with greater confidence, comfort and compassion as a truly united and caring community.”

The number for the Silsden Helpline is 01535 400150 and it is open each day from 9am until 6pm. Silsden people wishing to help by either answering helpline calls or carrying out the tasks, can also call.