AN urgent appeal has been issued for volunteer drivers in Bury to deliver food to vulnerable households during the coronavirus outbreak.

Council bosses say they are especially on the lookout for drivers in the Prestwich and Whitefield areas.

Five new community hubs are now operational as part of the local response to the Covid-19 crisis, co-ordinating deliveries of food, medicines and other essentials.

Government food parcels are being issued to those most in need - but there are still an estimated 4,000 people boroughwide who may also need vital help in the coming weeks.

Cllr David Jones, leader of Bury Council, said: "National crises always bring out the best in people, and we can already see large numbers of people volunteering in Bury to do whatever they can to keep their communities safe.

"A huge thanks to the very many residents and community groups who are already volunteering and making a huge contribution.

"Our hubs are working with health and social care staff, emergency services and community groups, actively seeking out those in our borough who we think need help the most, to get the most appropriate support to them. Let’s all volunteer and do our utmost to help people at this unprecedented time.”

Council chiefs have highlighted the roles of two drivers who have stepped forward to offer their services.

Lisa Carter a science teacher and mother-of-three who lives in Tottington, said: "As soon as this all kicked off, I was very keen to volunteer in some way, especially as I am working at home now with a lot of hours to fill. There are only so many times you can clean the house or wash the car.

“I wasn’t really sure who to approach to volunteer, but I was eventually put through to the community hub.

“I really wanted to help. I have older friends and family myself and there are a lot of people out there that need a helping hand. It’s up to us who can help out to do so.”

Lisa, a member of Radcliffe Athletic Club, added: “So far I’ve been allocated three different people that need a helping hand, and I’ll be shopping for a gentleman who cannot get out for himself for the first time next week.

“This is going to be a big help to a lot of people in the community.”

Natalie Briggs, who lives in Elton, is Brown Owl of 38th St Hilda’s Tottington.

She said: “I heard through a friend in the guiding movement that volunteers were needed for the Community Hubs, mainly to help distribute food donations.

“I went along for the first time on Friday to see where I could help. There had been a donation of pre-packed sandwiches so I drove those out to different food banks.

“The calls were coming through thick and fast and the team were working out who needs what and allocating support to them.

"A visually-impaired lady needed some shopping getting, so I sorted that one out too.”

Natalie, who works as a sales rep for a builder’s merchant, has two sons at home and said: “I’m working in my job 10am to 2pm every day but I will continue to volunteer as and when I’m needed. If someone needs something I’ll make sure I get it.

“I honestly would never leave someone without food, not when I’m going home to have my own dinner. It’s early days but, even with what I’ve done so far, it’s been really rewarding. If you can help, please do.”

To volunteer: go to and fill in the online form.