ONCE again, the good folk of Craven have risen to the challenge – to give new life to a local facility.

A team of volunteers in Hebden have stepped forward to keep the village shop going.

Located in an outbuilding at the Clarendon Hotel, the shop has been operating only intermittently since previous licensees, Ashley and Hayley Crampton, left about a year ago, and there were fears about its future.

But it will now be run by the community for the community.

It will, hopefully, follow in the footsteps of other already thriving community shops – with Burton-in-Lonsdale and Clapham being particularly fine examples of what can be achieved.

There is no doubt the efforts and dedication of the volunteers should be applauded.

We are also indebted to the wonderful members of Clapham's Cave Rescue Organisation and Grassington's Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, who turn out in all weathers, 365 days a year, to help those in difficulty on our fells and down our caves.

Increasingly, other public services are becoming reliant on volunteers as local authorities try to balance their books against cuts in Government funding.

In Settle, the newly-formed community library group is appealing for volunteers to help keep the facility going beyond April 2017. Already 20 people have offered their services, but more help is needed to ensure current opening hours are maintained.

Successful community libraries already operate in Grassington, Embsay and Gargrave, and those in Cross Hills, Ingleton and Bentham are also expected to be handed to the community next year. Skipton Library will also need volunteers to maintain its opening hours alongside paid staff.

No doubt, helpers will be found, but there is a very real concern that the supply of volunteers will eventually run out. Craven does not have a vast population and there is only so much that people – even those with a keen sense of community spirit – can do.