HUNDREDS of people have contacted special coronavirus crisis 'help hubs' in East Lancashire's two biggest towns since they launched last week.

A total of 195 Blackburn with Darwen residents rang the borough's dedicated Covid-19 helpline between Wednesday last week and lunchtime on Tuesday.

The Burnley Together community hub last week received 456 calls via its telephone hotline.

It also had 213 email contacts and 25 messenger contacts and has been followed by over 700 people on our social media channels

The Blackburn with Darwen Help Hub has been organising deliveries of food and essential supplies to vulnerable people, providing information and advice, and making telephone calls to help keep isolated people’s spirits up.

The majority of people contacting it we are running low on food and other essentials, including nappies and sanitary products. Others were concerned about getting their regular medication.

The Hub has also had a number of calls from people concerned about running out of gas and electricity and paying their bills.

The majority of callers were over 50.

Sayyed Osman, Blackburn with Darwen Council's director of adult services, said: “We are supporting people in a range of ways, signposting them to the local organisation best placed to support them.

“The feedback so far has been fantastic. One woman commented on the relief she felt at just knowing that someone was there to support her.

“Our contact centre is also making outbound calls to those people on the government’s shielding list, because of existing health conditions, to establish their support needs."

The Blackburn with Darwen Help Hub can be contacted by filling in the online form on the council's Shuttle newspaper or calling 01254 588111between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to noon Saturday and Sunday.

Burnley Together spokesman Philip Jones said: “We've seen a massive amount of support and community spirit coming through since we launched last week.

"Even with the uncertainty for everyone at this moment, people’s humanity and sense of community shines through. While it is going to be incredibly tough in the coming weeks and months, we must hold on to the positive that together we can overcome this.”

Burnley Together is a joint effort by the borough council; Calico, Lancashire County Council; Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Services; Burnley FC in the Community, Burnley Leisure and the faith sector.

It's helpline number is 01282 686402.