Volunteers have been overwhelmed with requests for help and support during the government restrictions and none more so than in Kirkby Stephen.

The town has a band of volunteers who have worked relentlessly making sure all those who have found themselves struggling during the pandemic have the help they need.

The team have collected and delivered to all those who are trapped in rural locations.

Throughout the pandemic, Kirkby Stephen Community Support (KSCS) has stepped up to help with distribution of ‘tea break treat’ parcels for key workers, a shopping service for those who are shielding and/or unable to access online groceries, from the Kirkby Stephen Co-op and other essential shops.

Helping the group is Michelle Gill, manager of Kirkby Stephen Co-op, and she said: “KSCS is providing a vital service for the town and surrounding parishes and we’re delighted to support them in any way we can.”

At the start of lockdown town councillors, Conrad Lynch and Sandy Lancaster started to support the community in various ways and now, due to increasing need, Conrad along with a team of five committee members, has set up KSCS to run these vital services and is now helping over 150 people each week in and around Kirkby Stephen, assisted by a team of 10 volunteers.

Mr Lynch said: “We know that recovery from the pandemic will take time and the needs of our community will change, therefore KSCS aims to adapt and respond quickly, so we can continue to offer support where needed.

“I was surprised how many need help and how many people are adhering to the guidelines.

"It has been lovely to see so many people donating and it has been a time when people are getting to know their community and giving back to the community.

“We are hoping to raise some money to help purchase extra supplies but we’re all making the most of what we have and are helping where we can.”