Public services are stepping up to help the most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Essex County Council have thanked people across the county for supporting their family, friends and neighbours and now want to help those who don't have help from their nearest and dearest.

The Essex Resilience Forum (ERF), made up of all the county public sector organisations, is tasked with ensuring that people with the most serious health conditions are shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.

These people have been contacted already by the NHS and offered food package deliveries.

A distribution hub has been set up by the council in Witham and two other hubs set up by Southend and Thurrock councils.

From this weekend, food deliveries will begin to be dispatched to the most vulnerable residents.

Cllr David Finch said: "The way Essex has rallied around the vulnerable across the county has been incredible and I would like to thank each and every person who is helping friends, neighbours and relatives stay home and stay safe.

"You are literally saving lives across our great county because you are protecting our NHS.

"Now councils, the NHS and all our public and voluntary sector partners are stepping up to try and make sure no-one who needs help is missed out.

"It has been a huge effort, involving round-the-clock work. I am very proud of what is being put into place to shield our most vulnerable residents.”

Residents who do not have the support of friends, family or neighbours but are considered vulnerable will be contacted by the NHS or their GP surgeries, starting next week.

This includes anyone over the age of 70 and pregnant woman.

The message will set out the instructions for them to register with the Essex Welfare Service should they need food deliveries.