HEREFORDSHIRE Council has rearranged the way it works to coordinate more than 1,400 volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The council sent a letter to 88,000 households at the start of the lockdown explaining how vulnerable people should keep safe.

Its priority was to make sure those people had the necessary friends or family network who could support them.

The council wanted to find out where the gaps in their support were, and to offer help with things such as grocery shopping and medication.

Amy Pitt, Talk Community assistant director at the county council, said: “We set up a coordination centre through which people could contact us by telephone or online to say what support they needed.

“We’ve deployed around 70 council staff as link workers in the community. We have one in every single ward. There are some fantastic well-established community groups working very well out there, but some areas didn’t have that.

“So we wanted to provide a more co-ordinated response across the county.”

The council has 200 of its staff deployed across the different areas supporting the community, including link workers and telephonists.

“We’ve also got back office infrastructure to sustain it.”

She said they are also working to ensure the extremely vulnerable people who have to isolate for 12 weeks get the help they need.

“We’ve contacted 2,500 extremely vulnerable individuals and delivered 200 food parcels to the shielded cohort while they are being registered with the government scheme.”

Ms Pitt said she wanted to thank all the volunteers and community groups who have helped.

With more than 1,400 registered volunteers, the council’s priority now is making sure those who need support get it.

Anyone who needs help with food or medicine in Herefordshire should contact the council’s Talk Community Covid-19 response team on 01432 260027.