THE latest virtual meeting of the Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group heard how 120 local sewers are now producing face coverings as well as scrubs.

The move comes after a government announcement that face coverings are helpful in shops and indoor public spaces.

Becky Malby who is working on the project said: “We are delighted to be helping our local community and the group has sewn over 200 face coverings so far. The first 85 have gone to the foodbank and we are now providing complementary personal-use face coverings to Ilkley residents who need them at Tesco’s Customer Services desk.”

The Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group brings together district and local councillors, medical and social care representatives and organisations from the voluntary sector in the town with the aim to work cooperatively across the town in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Stuart Hyde QPM, who chairs the group said: “The Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group continues to share information amongst key stakeholders in the town at this challenging time. We are now working out the best model to take this role forward using existing structures. I would like to thank all members of the group for their tireless, willingness to share and engage at this difficult time. We must also remember that Covid has not gone away and everybody in Ilkley will need to continue to collaborate for the foreseeable future, at many different levels, to ensure the best outcome for the town.”

Reports from all the agencies outlined how well the various areas of support are in place to help the local community.

The voluntary sector report included information about a forthcoming project ‘Adopt a Care Home’, in conjunction with Ilkley Soroptimists and following the wonderful response from care homes to Bluebird Bus VE day music tour, Les Goldman from The Two Rivers Band has offered to help co-ordinate musicians to visit and perform at homes.

Jamie Gutch, Assistant Headteacher of Ilkley Grammar School, gave a report on children and young people, noting the gradual increasing numbers of pupils coming into school and how IGS is currently delivering remote learning to about 2,000 pupils, plus additional home-support as required.

In his report Ilkley Town Mayor Cllr Mark Stidworthy congratulated Richard Bradley, Dan Gray, Nick Winterbottom and Cllr Anne Hawkesworth and the team for the wonderful VE Day commemorations in Ilkley.

In his weekly statement Cllr Stidworthy added: “The last week has generated uncertainty for many of us in our feelings about coronavirus and the future. Moves to encourage a return to work or school, welcomed by some, cause worry or even anger for others. Increasing numbers of people accessing public spaces in Ilkley are creating new challenges, and few of us feel confident. The strong community response the town has shown so far has undoubtedly saved life and protected the NHS. Nonetheless, here in Yorkshire the rate of viral transmission remains at a level that allows no room for complacency. Many of Ilkley’s residents remain shielded, and we are all aware of tragic deaths in our community due to Covid-19. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all who have been affected. We must all continue to do everything we can to prevent the virus spreading.

“This week (18th to 24th May) is Mental Health Awareness week, with the overarching theme that #KindnessMatters. Few of us have passed the last few weeks without increased anxiety and loneliness, and some of us may be struggling with our mental health. Nobody should feel alone, and there are lots of resources available to help us ( Ilkley’s response to coronavirus exemplifies kindness in action. An incredible 430 pairs of scrubs have now been made by the Sewing Scrubs group. In response to new government guidance for enclosed spaces and public transport they are making and distributing face coverings through local supermarkets for residents who want them. Underpinning everything is the kindness of voluntary groups, answering calls for help, delivering food and prescriptions, and simply being a friendly voice on the phone to combat loneliness. This has been continuing without fanfare, helping hundreds of people, week after week. Thank you.”

To donate to the Ilkley Coronavirus Response, visit Anyone in Ilkley needing help, or who has concerns about a friend or neighbours can call the helpline on 07375 803 693 or the main hub on 01274 4310 00 - open 7 days a week 9am – 5pm.