'You have to be prepared to adapt': Street Angels helping most vulnerable residents

A volunteer group in North Yorkshire is urging local businesses and organisations to change to help residents most in need during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Northallerton Street Angels has made significant changes to its service after suspending night patrols in the town to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus live blog: latest as Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirusSteve Cowie, chairman of Northallerton Street Angels, said the group had about 40 volunteers helping in the community.

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"We are directing our volunteers where they are able to be an angel in their local community," he said.

The Northallerton Street Angelshas made significant changes to its service to help vulnerable residents during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo credit: Yui Mok

"We have given them contacts of people we know, either of existing volunteer groups and to help people who can't or shouldn't be out."

Mr Cowie, a former local businessman, called for companies to adapt in the unprecedented challenge the country is facing.

"The big thing about this time for businesses and organisations is not to bunker down and do the same as you have done before.

"You have to look above the clouds and you have to be prepared to adapt and change.

"Organisations that say - 'oh it's too difficult - it can't work because of the current environment,' will become impotent and who will that help?".

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"Every person on our books is allocated to one of our life groups - small groups that meet-up during the week online," he said.

"Street Angels are helping to make sure those that are vulnerable are looked after by contacting the vulnerable in these groups.

"Volunteers are finding out if they need shopping, or medication and life-saving things like that."

Mr Cowie, 67, also confirmed the New Life Baptist Church has started to stream its Sunday service live online, which over 200 local residents usually attend each week.

"Everything has been put on hold at the moment, but you have to look around and adapt during these times," he said.

"The first service online was a huge hit - close to a thousand people were watching it. People messaged in and said how moved they were.

"It really felt we were are all together in spirit."