A GROUP set up to support Cumbria’s communities during the coronavirus emergency is reaching out to the farming sector in the south of the county.

The South Lakeland Community Resilience Group, a partnership including local authorities, NHS, emergency services and voluntary and faith groups, was formed early in the coronavirus response to get practical help and advice out to vulnerable people in the district’s communities.

Its work so far has included promoting a dedicated support helpline and linking in with community groups in towns and villages to mobilise volunteers to assist with everything from collecting prescriptions to shopping trips.

The forum has also recognised that with so many people working from home, home-schooling children or feeling worried or anxious about their health or employment, it is vitally important for everyone to do all they can to look after their own and their loved ones’ mental and physical health.

Councillor Suzie Pye, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and financial resilience, said it was important that Cumbria’s farming communities were not forgotten and was urging the sector’s workers to ensure they considered their welfare to prevent issues becoming more serious.

She added: “These are challenging times for everyone, and our farming communities are no exception. They are also worried, not only about their own and their loved ones’ health but also about the health and long-term impact on their industry. All this can take its toll on our mental and physical wellbeing.”

The group is supporting Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign.