A coronavirus support hub has been praised after taking more than 1,000 calls and delivering 200 food parcels in its first week.

The Hartlepool Support Hub has been organised by Hartlepool Borough Council in partnership with other organisations to support anyone self-isolating or unable to leave their home during the coronavirus outbreak.

This includes those who are at the highest risk and are being advised by the NHS to self-isolate for 12 weeks.

Along with food parcels, more than 120 prescriptions have also been delivered by the service across the borough to date.

The support hub offers information and advice, emotional support, delivery of shopping, newspapers and prescriptions; and links to other additional services which are offering support.

Jill Harrison, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Director of Adults and Community-Based Services, said calls have been increasing each day since the launch last Tuesday.

She said: “We received more than 200 calls on Tuesday when we launched the support hub and that number has increased each day.

“We’ve delivered around 200 food parcels across the borough and more than 120 prescriptions.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the staff and volunteers who are making this possible and helping so many residents to stay safe, stay well and stay connected.”

Council chief executive Gill Alexander said it was a ‘privilege’ to visit the support hub and praised everyone involved, adding they have been called ‘community angels’.

She said: “The staff are absolutely phenomenal.

“The way in which they’ve pulled together, the dedication, the way in which they’re following up the queries, that they’re getting out food supplies and prescriptions to people in need, is deeply humbling.

“We are getting a reputation regionally and nationally for the way in which we have mobilized support around this and I’m not surprised.

“Everybody here and the volunteers, the staff have been called angels, they have been called community angels and I can see why.

“They are bringing hope as well as supplies to people who are very vulnerable and feeling very frightened and worried in these circumstances.”

People can contact the Hub by telephoning 01429 272905 (10am-4pm Mondays to Fridays and 10am-12 noon on Saturdays) or emailing helping@hartlepool.gov.uk

There is also information available at www.hartlepoolnow.co.uk – Hartlepool’s existing local help and support website, which can also be downloaded as an App.