'WE are here to help'.

That is the message from organisations across Otley as residents face 'a unique set of challenges caused by the worldwide outbreak and spread of the coronavirus'.

Many of the town's venues including its bars, restaurants, cafes, arts centres and non-essential shops have now been closed along with its Town Council office and Otley Action for Older People's (OAOP) base.

But as the country's 'lockdown' to slow the the spread of Covid-19 intensifies Otley Town Council is stressing that it, and a number of community groups, will be doing all they can over the coming weeks and months to provide support.

In a leaflet that is being delivered to households across town this week they say: "Our main priority remains the safety and wellbeing of all residents, businesses and the general public.

"A group of local organisations including Otley Action for Older People, Otley Courthouse, Otley Churches Together, Otley Food Bank and Otley Town Council have come together to offer support to those who need it at this time.

"We recognise that we are in this together. We want everyone to stay safe and to look after one another."

Town Council Chair Councillor Richard Hughes (Lib Dem, West Chevin) said: "In these challenging times the town council and key partners have come together to offer a coordinated response for those who are social distancing and self-isolating.

"Otley Action for Older People will provide support to those over 60 while the volunteers at Otley Courthouse are ready to support anyone under the age of 60, but also co-ordinating anyone who volunteers time to help the most vulnerable in our community.

"Our local shops and businesses are also offering home delivery services, so please contact them if you need provisions.

"Together we can all look out for our families and neighbours; it is in difficult times like these when we can demonstrate the strength of community in Otley, working together to care for those most in need."

The leaflet provides details of how each of the groups can assist, along with their contact details.

An OAOP spokesperson said: "We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone but particularly older people who are socially isolated. We are here to provide support and welcome your calls.

"Our brilliant volunteer workforce are busy shopping, providing phone support, and delivering fish and chips to our members. We are also responding to other requests for help and support from those older people in need."

A Courthouse spokesperson said: "Within the guidelines of social distancing Otley Courthouse has a team of volunteers who are willing to go shopping, visit the Post Office and do other various errands for those who are remaining at home as a result of COVID-19."

And Otley Food Bank - which people can use once referred to it from one if its community partners, which includes GP practices - will be working to make sure no-one in the community goes hungry: and says it can deliver 'to all homes in Otley'.

To contact OAOP call (01943) 463965 between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday or for Otley Courthouse call (01943) 467466 during the same times.

More details about Otley businesses that are offering home deliveries to those who are self-isolating can be found at www.otleybid.co.uk.

And for the latest information on Covid-19 visit www.gov.uk.