AN appeals being made to local supermarkets and shops to come forward with details of the support they can give to older people across North Yorkshire and others in need of help who are not covered by the existing Government scheme.

Council leaders say help is needed to deliver to residents who are struggling to get essential supplies during the Covid-19 outbreak because they may be over 70, living alone, and may not have friends and family on whom they can rely.

People who are within the group of 1.5 million identified by the Government as those at most medical risk from Covid-19 will soon begin to see food parcels delivered directly to their homes. This is expected to include around 20,000 people in North Yorkshire.

But North Yorkshire County Council says they knows there are other people who will not be part of this group, but may still be in critical need of help.

County Council Leader Cllr Les Carl said: "Some people will be able to help themselves and we encourage them to do so, if they can, as this will help to ensure that the support that is available can be directed to those who need it.

"We know that some supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, are prioritising people over 70 for home deliveries, so if you are in that group look at the stores’ online delivery options. We are now urging other supermarkets to operate in the same way.

"People should also turn first to family, friends and neighbours for help with things like getting in groceries or collecting medication. If that network is not available, please also look to community organisations or groups to which you belong.

"If none of those options is available, we are working with district council colleagues and selected community organisations to deliver that support."

The county council is already calling on businesses to share details of the services they can provide.

"People can help themselves by using the big supermarkets for deliveries," said Cllr Les, "but there are local businesses that may be able to help you and we are putting them in touch with local community groups to arrange local solutions.

"Buying local at this time also helps local businesses that might be struggling, so even for those people not in a vulnerable category this is an opportunity to support your local businesses.

"They are responding well to our requests and have been asking how they can help. If there are local supermarkets or shops that can assist with this work to protect the vulnerable, we urge them to contact us."

People in urgent need of help who have no friends, family, church or clubs to turn to get in touch with the County Council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780 there's more information on the County Council’s website,

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