A VOLUNTEER-run network for the isolated and vulnerable has praised a town council for its collaboration in tackling coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Support for Vulnerable Darlington group, which began a partnership with Darlington Council earlier this week, has praised the council for its quick response in calls for collaboration.

The two organisations will work together to meet the increasing needs of the community through signposting residents, exchanging and vetting volunteers and sharing resources.

Nursery nurse Kimberley Scott, who created the Facebook group behind the project, is "absolutely delighted" with the group's progression.

The 28-year-old said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have partnered with the council in to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

"When we expressed an interest last week to work with the council, we thought that we wouldn’t have an agreement in place for many months as local authorities are generally slow to respond.

"Instead, the council got in touch immediately and within days we were able to form this partnership.

"I am really impressed by how quickly and efficiently they acted. It is wonderful that everyone is coming together during this difficult time to support our community and improve the lives of our residents.”

Hoping the new collaboration will allow for a greater and wider impact on Darlington's community is Stephen Morgan.

The 34-year-old, who is using his business Inner Tranquility on Neasham Road as a base for the project and is part of the core organisational team, said: "By having clear guidelines on where to signpost residents across the various points of help, we will save valuable time.

"Also, by combining the process of vetting volunteers with the council, we would avoid any duplication of work if the council were to do their own vetting."

Businessman George Jabbour, 38, who has set up the policies and structure of the coronavirus support group, also welcomed the collaboration.

He said: “As we are at the forefront of organising community efforts in tackling coronavirus, we will be working with the council to develop best practices that could be replicated in other areas across our region and our country.

"Our group will also operate as an umbrella organisation for any volunteers in Darlington who would like to help residents.”