THE club movement has been urged to continue supporting its local communities and look after vulnerable members of society, during, “this time of major uncertainty”.

Addressing the nation’s 1,600 workingmen’s and social clubs, 158 in the Durham area, between Tees and Tyne, Club and Institute Union (CIU) general secretary Kenneth Green also called on the Government to recognise the importance played by clubs in communities, and to provide them with, “the required support going forward.”

In line with pubs, cafes and restaurants, clubs were ordered to close on March 20.

Packages are on offer for affected businesses, including part payment of wages and business rate ‘holidays’.

The CIU’s annual meeting and Beer and Trades Exhibition, in Blackpool this weekend, have been postponed.

Mr Green said: “In good times and bad, CIU clubs have been at the forefront of their communities, bringing people together, raising money for charity, providing meeting place for groups and societies, giving support to the elderly, doing what is needed during times of crisis.

“The CIU and its members are ready, willing and able to do their duty when required.

“Let us hope that the Government recognises the importance of our clubs and gives us the required support going forward.”

Details of support available can be found via, the CIU website.