SOUTH Craven people who are currently shielding and need help obtaining food and medication are being assured that support will continue.

The national programme of food parcel and prescription deliveries to those shielding comes to an end on July 31.

But North Yorkshire County Council says it intends maintaining a service.

Of the 24,700 people shielding in North Yorkshire, around 12 per cent have required support.

Gary Fielding, the county council’s director of strategic resources, said: “There are more than 3,000 people in North Yorkshire who have relied on food and prescription deliveries while they stayed at home to protect themselves from coronavirus.

“Over the coming weeks we will be contacting those people on the shielding list to help them prepare for the end of next month and put alternative methods of support in place should they need it.

“We want to reassure people who have been shielding for the last few months and are self-isolating that our support for those who do not have anyone else to call on will continue.

“We hope that in time the demand will reduce and that infection rates will continue to fall, but whilst there is a need we will be there – with partners – to help.”

Since March, the county council has been working with more than 20 community organisations and district councils to co-ordinate a voluntary sector network in each locality, providing a safety net of support.

Those who have needed help with shopping, prescriptions and other essentials have been able to contact the county council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780. It remains open daily, between 8am and 5.30pm.