COMMUNITY leaders, volunteers and councillors in Bradford South are coming together to help the most vulnerable during the coronavirus emergency.

Sandale Community Centre, in Woodside, is a focal point of the response taking place in the Royds ward, providing food and support to people in the area.

Before the pandemic, the centre acted as a drop-in centre for the elderly, where they could take part in activities and socialise with their neighbours, five days a week.

Despite this having to change due to the current situation, the centre is still protecting elderly people in the community, delivering hot meals and making friendly phone calls to support them socially.

"This situation is uncharted territory and probably the most challenging in my 13 years since setting up here", said Andy Walsh, Chief Executive of Sandale Trust.

"We’re getting 20 to 25 three-course meals out to the elderly every day and going out shopping and sorting medication for people. We’ve been overwhelmed by support from volunteers, councillors, local businesses and supermarkets.

“I’m proud of my staff who are supporting local people, and we’re pooling our resources with partners like the Footprints Family Centre and Buttershaw Baptist Church.

"Anyone who can help, through volunteering or donating, can call the Council on 01274 431000, or contact us direct on 01274 270170 or at

Councillor Angela Tait, of the Royds ward, said: “All anyone needs to do if they need help is phone those numbers and we’ll be there. I would urge anyone who needs support to get in touch, whether it’s food or practical help, or a chat or emotional support.

"All three Royds councillors, myself, Andrew Thornton and Ruth Wood, are delivering meals and food parcels, and we need people to be our eyes and ears on the ground too, and refer people who might need support."

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, said: "The work being done by the community in Royds is fantastic. Supported by our local councillors, they are on the front line of this emergency. I am pushing the Government to give more support to these vital organisations."

Chris Hayden, a volunteer, paid tribute to Sandale's Andy Walsh and Maureen Holmes, of the Gateway Centre, Ravenscliffe. He said: “They are unsung heroes - the Gateway Centre is delivering hundreds of hot meals a week and supporting families with home schooling packs. He also thanked Food for Life Bradford, which he says, "is doing food deliveries and has fed 300 people in the last week."