Coronavirus in Leeds: Volunteers deliver self-isolation care packages to elderly and vulnerable

As shelves empty amid coronavirus fears, groups of volunteers are stepping forward to help provide food and essentials for the most vulnerable in Leeds.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 8:07 pm

With over-70s and those with some health conditions advised to stay at home, there are concerns that isolated people may not get the help they need.

Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel has established a database of local volunteers to help people isolated by the coronavirus outbreak.

Volunteers can assist authorities to ensure vulnerable residents have the supplies they need at home, such as food, medicine or other essentials.

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Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel has established a database of local volunteers

Mr Sobel said: "I am delighted that so many people have signed up to do their bit. It is a testament to our resilience and spirit as a community".

Other initiatives have been launched by Leeds businesses, with many experiencing a huge slash in profits due to the coronavirus crisis.

Two Leeds business owners have launched We Care Leeds, donating free care packages to those on low incomes or those over 70.

Kane Crosfell and Joseph Battle are spearheading the initiative and expect to start deliveries on Friday.

Alley Cats has launched a free service to drop off fresh hot meals within the LS7 postcode

The pair are planning to team up with MyThai restaurant, which will cook and deliver a weekly supply of stew and soup to the elderly.

They hope resources can be shared between the two initiatives to reach more of those in need and have launched a GoFundMe page to support the scheme.

Kane, 27, said: "The support from local businesses has been astonishing and we've had a massive response from volunteers getting in touch.

"If you need help, the help is there. And if you can help us to help other people, then please get in touch through our Facebook page We Care Leeds."

We Care Leeds volunteers are donating free care packages to those on low incomes or those over 70

A woman from Micklefield has also launched a GoFundMe page to provide care packages locally.

Lisa Thomas is fundraising to stock and deliver the packages for those who may not have family members to rely on.

She said: "I will gather boxes with basic needs and deliver them locally around Leeds and the surrounding areas.

"If anyone knows people who this may benefit please make me aware. Let's pull together and help those who need it the most."

Care boxes ready to be delivered to those in need across Leeds

Also gearing up to help is Chapel Allerton cafe bar and record store Alley Cats, which has launched a free service to drop off fresh hot meals within the LS7 postcode.

The team said on Twitter: "We know that it's not just local independents like us who will be struggling but that there's a good chance that there are sick, elderly vulnerable people or just those in hard times and in need.

"After many years living in Chapel Allerton and the last two years operating as a business here we know that the community spirit we all share is not something that can be knocked easily.

"We will be here for you and we hope in return you can be here for us and the other small local independents that really need you right now."

Alley Cats has launched a free service to drop off fresh hot meals within the LS7 postcode