A SQUAD of 19 town hall workers have swapped their normal paperwork to get out testing residents and ringing the contacts of those found positive for coronavirus.

The staff from the staff from prevention, neighbourhoods and learning teams have been hands-on in the fight to beat the pandemic.

They have played a key role in Blackburn with Darwen Council’s localised ‘track and trace’ system as well as taking coronavirus tests out to people’s homes.

One, community connector Jo Corbett, said: “I’m one part of a marvellous team of colleagues who are always there with help and advice. I enjoy being in a role where I can enable local people to find the help they need, especially at a time when many of us are struggling in a number of ways.

“It is a pleasure to be of help in a small way - whether dealing with calls through the Help Hub, phoning people as part of the track and trace service, or visiting families at home as part of the community testing programme.”

The 19 community connectors, social prescribers, engagement and integration officers and project support officers have supported thousands of residents during the pandemic, also assisting with the borough’s Help Hub.

Rebecca Ramsay, interim service lead for prevention and neighbourhoods, said: “For me, all these staff deserve credit for the adaptability and the flexibility they’ve shown over the last 10 months, in the most difficult circumstances.

“They’ve been covering three key areas of work for the council, which at times has meant they have had to pick up tasks at short notice. They’ve done this with real dedication and commitment to helping local people get through the pandemic.”

Sayyed Osman, director of adult services and prevention, said: “We are blessed to have many, many employees who have picked up whatever has needed to be done throughout the pandemic.

“With a can-do attitude and a genuine passion to do the right thing for the communities we serve, these staff are an integral part of our crisis and recovery operation.”