A RELIEF effort has been launched which will see hospitality businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak helping people in self-isolation.

Community and Business Partners, based in Blackburn, have launched the Love From Lancashire campaign, which will recruit thousands of volunteers to help those in need.

As part of the new campaign, the organisation will use the free space of shut pubs and restaurants to cook food and deliver it around the local area.

Lancashire’s hospitality industry has seen a huge downturn since the Government asked people to stay at home, and this scheme will support that industry while providing goods to those most in need.

Paul White, former leader of Pendle Council, said: “There will be lots of isolated people so we are trying to identify them and even if they don’t need help then we can talk to them so nobody feels lonely.

“We are going to utilise the space of businesses who are going to close and turn them into mini distribution hubs. We will then have volunteers make the food and take it out to those in isolation.”

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out plans for battling the pandemic, advising people to avoid social places such as pubs and clubs.

He said in his speech: “We need people to start working from home where they possibly can. And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.”

The advice does not currently force restaurants and pubs to close, but many are either experiencing empty spaces, or closing due to the lack of staff and customers.

The relief team plan to crowdfund to help pay the volunteering businesses and take payments from those in self-isolation who are still financially able to pay.

One of the places involved is the Tubbs Restaurant in Colne, which will now act as a hub for their area.

Amanda Meachin, from Community and Business Partners, said: “We are in unprecedented times and that requires an unprecedented community effort.

“We are an organisation with the skills to recruit thousands of volunteers, largely unseen on this scale before, to support our communities.”

The team is asking for a donation which will help the businesses provide the food.

Ms Meachin said: “We recognise that this is a very worrying time for everyone, but if you can help at all with a donation, no matter how small, it will go towards providing the service and helping the hospitality businesses who are providing the food and goods.”

The team is looking for volunteers, established community groups and hospitality businesses.

To find out more on how to donate or volunteer please visit the website lovefromlancs.com