THOUSANDS of people across West Dunbartonshire have been supported by the council as part of an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the country was forced into lockdown more than two months ago, the local authority has been working to ensure the area remains a safe and supportive place for everyone.

To date, more than 1,500 residents have been given assistance from the newly established Crisis Support Team, which is tailored to each individual but could include collecting and delivering essential groceries or medicines or providing befriending to combat loneliness.

A total of 1,097 local business owners have received £10million in grant funding; 3,000 residents on the shielding list have been contacted with 912 given additional support and 5,500 welfare calls have been made to tenants.

When schools were closed in March, 14 hubs were established as well as online learning tools so pupils could continue to be educated, and key workers provided with childcare.

A total of 5,677 school lunches have been given out every week.

Contact centre employees have responded to 500 calls each day from residents, with hundreds of further interactions through the council’s social media channels.

Waste services teams have collected an average of 640 tonnes of rubbish from 45,000 households each week.

And 600 employees in non-essential roles have volunteered to help in alternative roles.

Councillor Jonathan McColl, council leader, said: “I am extremely proud of the way all of our services have stepped up to support our residents.

“From practical help offered to vulnerable people to ensuring local businesses have the best chance of survival and our young people are not negatively affected, every single action has gone towards helping residents feel safe and supported during these uncertain times.

“Supporting the vulnerable within our communities has been at the heart of this response, and our partnership with third sector groups has allowed us to make sure that those most in need could get help with food, medicine and other deliveries.

“This response will continue, and even as we begin our planning process for a recovery, we will still be ensuring we reach out to support residents.”