MORE than 2,000 people in York have volunteered to support the city amid the coronavirus crisis - as the first 10 community hubs prepare to help those in greatest need.

The hubs are part of the city’s co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 emergency.

They are not open to the public and are at strategic locations around the city.

Redeployed City of York Council staff and allocated volunteers are preparing the hubs to deliver assistance to residents already identified as clinically vulnerable and to others who have no other source of help.

Medicines will be dealt with separately by the NHS and the council has offered to support this if it is needed. The council says safe working guidelines will be followed as far as possible.

City chiefs say they are working with the 2,000 "kind-hearted" volunteers who have come forward, and all have now been contacted and thanked for signing up.

They are being given online training ahead of being given tasks to support the most vulnerable in the city.

Council bosses said the health and safety of residents was their priority, and the "structured and safe approach" to volunteering was to ensure vulnerable people get the support they need in a co-ordinated and safe way.

Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of the council, said: “The response we have received from residents and businesses to volunteer and help support vulnerable members of our community has been overwhelming and truly reflective of the character of our city.

“With the first community hubs now open, we are accelerating and targeting support at vulnerable people across the city, whether that be food or medicine for residents self-isolating.”

Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: “Our strong communities and brilliant voluntary sector are a key part of how York will get through this crisis.

“We are taking a flexible approach to developing our community hubs so that the council and our partners can quickly respond to the rapidly changing situation. This ensures we can coordinate effective and safe support to the city’s most vulnerable people.

“If you can’t volunteer now or aren’t called on immediately, please be patient - we value your support and the council will likely call on you in the coming weeks or months.

“This extraordinary response to volunteer comes when we’re asking residents to be neighbourly and considerate as we all spend more time at home. This shows how as a city we’re all pulling together.”

People keen to help and volunteer are being asked to sign up to or call 01904 551550, or go to .

Vulnerable people needing help because they are directly affected by coronavirus and have no other source of help should email the council's community support coordinators at or call 01904 551550.