MORE than 80 volunteers have answered an appeal in Otley to help people who are vulnerable or in quarantine.

Good samaritans have been registering with Otley Courthouse, which has become a hub for volunteers. Although the courthouse is temporarily closed for events it is playing an important role as a resource centre during the Coronavirus crisis, and is working with the town council, Otley Action for Older People and Otley Food Bank.

Jean Crawford, from the courthouse, set up a data base of people who are willing to help, and within ten days more than 80 volunteers had registered to go shopping, collect prescriptions or run errands for anyone who is self-isolating or in quarantine. Volunteers have undertaken numerous shopping trips and collected parcels for people who are vulnerable.

Jean said: “A range of people have benefitted from the service, all of whom have conditions that are exacerbated by the coronavirus and put them in the highest risk category. These have included people with mobility or breathing difficulties; those undergoing medical treatment and pregnant women.

“We have volunteers from all over Otley as well as Menston and Pool so when we are contacted for assistance we are generally able to identify someone in the same locality.”

“The response from volunteers has been absolutely amazing and it’s very heartwarming how everyone in Otley has rallied round at this time of crisis.”

She added: “Whilst she’s at home in isolation, Claire Boocock has created beautiful handmade greetings cards with a cheerful message for Otley folk who are live on their own. They have been very well received.”

For help contact Jean Crawford on 01943 467466 and leave a message. The line is open between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Friday.

Otley Town Council is involved in coordinating the response and its staff are continuing to work.

Cllr Richard Hughes said: “I know we are all proud of the way that Otley has come together at this difficult time. There are so many wonderful initiatives and acts of kindness taking place. I am particularly aware of the work of Otley Action for Older People, Otley Courthouse and Otley Food Bank through their links to the Council. They are doing wonderful work, helped by many great volunteers.”