A COMMUNITY group with a Skipton base which got together when coronavirus began to spread round the globe, now boasts more than 2,700 members.

Skipton Step Into Action was jointly set up by a group of acquaintances.

One of the group, Claire-Marie Jackson, a group facilitator for North Yorkshire Horizons, said: “We had talked about it for some time and came together a few weeks ago to look at ways the community could be supported if the situation got worse.

“It did get a lot worse, but now we have a massive team of volunteers and members who are co-ordinated by a core group. The support has been incredible and the message is that we are all in the same boat, but that we can help and support one another and those who are vulnerable and need help.”

Along with Claire-Marie, the core team is made up of Alison Spencer, Charlotte McKeown, Caroline Jones, Debby Richardson, Kalbir Kaur, Mary Waterfall, Mark Christensen, Tina Brocklebank and Peter Riley.

As of this week, the group, which is rapidly increasing, has 2,716 members on the Skipton Step Into Action Facebook page, 750 registered volunteers.

The group deals with around 14 referrals each day and currently supports150 people across the community.

Help they offer includes collecting shopping and essentials, such as collecting prescriptions.

It is also partnered with Craven District Council and North Yorkshire County Council who provide support.

North Yorkshire County Council has also provided a dedicated phone line - 01609 780 780 - which is manned by council staff and who are able to field inquiries to the appropriate volunteer.

Around 6,000 flyers have been posted out to homes to inform people about the new group, what it does and how people can get in touch.

Member Claire Schofield said the group had ‘initiated a positive and cohesive community network that has now gone above and beyond’.

She added: “Without the massive collective efforts of the initial few and then the following of hundreds of volunteers and area coordinators we would have been very lacking in the community, but their time and dedication to support their community has brought about a collective solidarity and community spirit which in these unprecedented times of worry and uncertainty have helped to ease a whole community.

“As a member of the Skipton community I would like to thank them for their efforts as will many more and ask they are recognised, and acknowledged in our local paper. “