VOLUNTEERS from a community support group which aims to help people who are struggling during the coronavirus crisis have had a busy few days answering calls at their new hub.

Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Coronavirus support launched just a week ago and already has more than 400 volunteers who are offering a helping hand to vulnerable people who need help with everyday tasks such as shopping, dog walking and picking up prescriptions.

But due to a rapid increase in demand the group moved to a new base, Burnham Information Centre.

Helen Groves, who helped to set up the group, said she has been ‘blown away’ by the number of volunteers who have signed up and the support she has received from BiARS.

She said: “When we set up the group we had around 50 volunteers and now just a week later we have more than 470 volunteers.

“All enquiries were coming through my mobile phone and I was overwhelmed with the number of people calling for help.

“Ian Jefferies kindly gave us the use of the information centre as a base and now we have more phones to help answer calls.

“We’re so grateful for his support and to all the volunteers who have signed up so far. “

The new helpline at Burnham Information Centre was open from 10am until 2pm from Monday (March 23) and volunteers had a busy day answering phone calls from people in need.

Ian Jefferies from BiARS said the group is working with Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, Live West, SPARK and the YMCA to support people.

He said: “I had to close the information centre and I thought I would offer it to Helen who jumped at the chance to use it. We were happy to help support the community at this difficult time.

“We had a busy first day all of which we were able to deal with and today (March 24) we have also had some volunteers at the centre answering the phones.

“We will be operating hopefully remotely after today and will continue to use volunteers for collections that are critical as per government guidelines.“