BURNHAM and Highbridge Town Council said it is working closely with community groups and has allocated £5,000 of funding to help the local foodbank during the coronavirus outbreak.

The town council closed its offices to visitors last week but said it has been 'very active' and is working hard to meet the extra demand on its services.

The council's project manager Jacqui Strong has been working with community groups, including Burnham and Highbridge Coronavirus Community Support and YMCA in Highbridge, to ensure residents have support during the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokesperson for the town council, said: "The town council has helped BiARS set up its coronavirus support line and we continue to be an available source of assistance.

"Residents can call BiARS on the volunteer managed support line on 01278 787852 and it will link-up those requiring shopping for basic necessities, such as food and medicine, with willing volunteers coordinated by the Burnham and Highbridge Coronavirus Support group.

"BiARS can also signpost people to a host of other support bodies and sources of help. Please share the details of this support phone line with your family, friends and neighbours, especially if they don’t have access to the internet.

"We are in regular contact with the YMCA at its new base in Highbridge.

"The YMCA is available as another resource to assist community initiatives.

"There are lots of fantastic community groups, charities and other organisations rising to the challenge of supporting our community through this difficult time and the town

council will continue to offer its help to those groups."

At an extraordinary meeting on Monday (March 23) the town council agreed to allocate £5,000 from its funds to help Highbridge Area Foodbank if it is needed.

This week the council also made its wider grant fund available to local charities, groups and organisations who are offering support services due to the coronavirus outbreak and said it will be launching a new website to keep the public up to date.

"The town council is working hard to keep its core functions operating, whilst diverting resources to the support effort," a council spokesperson said.

"We still recognise the need to keep the public up to date with what we are doing and a new, better website, with a newsletter function, will shortly be available at the existing address: www.burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk

"We appreciate that not everyone uses the internet so we are drawing-up plans to put together and deliver a paper newsletter that will provide useful information on all the local initiatives we are aware of.

"We also hope to be able to include in it details of the important local support initiatives being organised by Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council.

"If your group or organisation would like to be included in this newsletter, please contact projects@burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk for details.

"Cllr Gardiner-White has put us in contact with a fruit and veg supplier who we can use to supply and deliver fresh foods to support-organisations who need it."

For more information about getting fresh food deliveries or for advice and guidance contact the town council on 01278 788088 or email info@burnhamhighbridge-tc.gov.uk.

To apply for funding contact accounts@burnhamhighbridge-tc.gov.uk or to contact your ward councillor visit http://burnham-highbridge.org/councillors.

If your group would like to talk to the YMCA about how it might be able to help you, then please call 0333 200 1616 or email: info@ymca-dg.org