A CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) community action support group is appealing for volunteers to join them.

The Kendal self-isolation support group was set up 10 days ago by town residents in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the UK.

The virus has claimed a number of lives in Cumbria this week, as the UK death toll rose to 437 on Wednesday.

One of the Kendal self-isolation support group’s organisers, Tom Rumsey, explained the purpose of the community response organisation as follows: "We want to help create a network of people in the community who can quickly respond to the needs of others as and when the time comes.

"Plans to work out how this will work on the ground are being developed so please watch this space."

The group has spent much of the past week attempting to sign up new volunteers, with representatives stationed outside Kendal Town Hall appealing to passersby.

The group has been involved in a postcard delivery effort, which will help it deliver the various forms of support it aims to provide - this includes doing grocery shopping and providing over-the-phone social interaction for vulnerable isolated members of the community.

Similar groups have popped up across the country - such as an Ulverston-based group that is attempting to provide various forms of community support to the Furness area.

As of Wednesday, the Kendal group reported having registered 150 volunteers.

However, in order to reach surrounding towns like Ings and Sedgewick, the group’s organisers predict it will need around 100 further recruits.

Jonny Gios, another one of the group's coordinators, said: “At the moment, we should be able to deliver to around 3,000 houses.

“So far, we've mainly been getting cards printed as well as putting safeguarding measures in place.

“SLDC have been very kind in allowing us to use the Romney Room. The ICC and Kendal Emergency Planning Group have also got involved, which is great.

"And we’ve done our best to link up with other groups like the Staveley support group.

“My concern is that there will be some volunteers we won’t be able to count on in the end, since it is likely some will have to self-isolate at some point over the coming weeks.

"So really it's vital we get as many people who think they can help out on board."