CHILDREN in Tillicoultry and surrounding areas are contributing to the coronavirus response, having created some colourful cards for vulnerable residents.

Just before lockdown measures came into force Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside Community Council asked local primaries and nurseries to create some cards for people looked after in the area's care homes.

There was an amazing response and hopes are to deliver safely the colourful and personal creations to people in a bid to bring some smiles.

It is all part of the wider response effort, co-ordinated by the community council which was blown away after it appealed for volunteers.

A helpline is up and running locally to make sure people in self-isolation can access food and medicine.

Volunteers are also happy to simply have a chat if folks feel lonely and need a bit of a blether.

And the community council's social media pages have also been a valuable source of information.

The cards created by local children are being shared on Facebook each morning as well to start the day on a positive note.

Co-ordinating the local effort, the community council is working with other groups such as the parish church.

Some 50 people, including one each from Alva and even Menstrie, have come forward to lend a hand.

In fact, there are so many of them there was a slight worry there would not be enough requests to keep them busy.

But co-ordinators are looking to get around to utilising everyone in the coming weeks.

Damian Sherwood-Johnson, chairperson of the community council, told the Advertiser: "It was fantastic, such a huge and amazing response.

"It just demonstrated the commitment of the community to support one another and to come together."

Once an appeal for volunteers was launched, as many as 25 people put their names down in a single night, meaning there was a "solid foundation" to build on moving forward.

Volunteering to deliver things such as essential shopping or medicines is helping people forge new connections in the community as well.

The hope is those connections will flourish once restrictions are lifted.

Damian and the team are also conscious that different forms of support will need to be in place when people are allowed to emerge from their homes.

He said: "We want to understand what happens when we come out of lockdown.

"People will need support in a different way."

The idea is to hold an event, once possible, to find out what the emerging needs will be in the community as there is a sense that the current crisis will change things forever.

The many volunteers who came together could therefore play a vital role not just now, but going forward.

People in the area looking for assistance can call 07592 320 276 and are asked to keep in mind it is not a line for information or advice.

Alternatively, email or find the community council on Facebook.

Use the above to express an interest in volunteering as well.