Members of a Burnley church group have told how the poorest communities have been hit hardest during the pandemic.

Analysis by the BBC shows the death rate from all causes between April and June this year in the most deprived areas was nearly double that of deaths in the least deprived parts of England.

The majority of the top ten cities and towns with the highest death rates were in the north of England.

Speaking to the BBC, Mike Fleming from Church on the Street Ministries said, “I’m a broken recovering drug addict who got a second chance.

“I love the poor because I know am the poor and as long as I can breath I will serve the poor.”

The Church on the Street Ministries helps and support people affected by homelessness and addiction. They work on the streets of Burnley town centre with a number of homeless persons and those suffering with addiction.

They help to distribute food provide pastoral support and distribute medication during the Coronavirus lockdown. People who use the service have told how they 'would be dead' without the help the organisation provides.

Mike said, “People are coming here because they can get hot food that they can eat now.

“The need’s massive, absolutely colossal

“You’ve seen people working who can’t make ends meet.”

"The need here in Burnley I think is unprecedented and it’s upsetting."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Father Alex Frost, Vicar at St Matthew's Church said, “Visiting a family who has no carpet. Who had no settee, who had no gas, who had no electric, they had no food.

“That broke my heart because nobody cared for them.

“They fell through the crack.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mike adds, “I go into houses and I sometimes have children ripping the bags open to get at the food as I’m carrying them through the door.

“It’s not all that, that’s not all right. And it wasn’t as bad as that before the virus.”

You can donate to Church on the Street Ministries via their Facebook page here