THE past couple of months have shown the amazing work volunteers across Ryedale have done.

People from across the entire district have demonstrated the true meaning of the word volunteering - and we want to share some of the incredible stories of impact, inspiration and community spirit that make Ryedale and Ryedale residents special.

This week, traders and towns folk pull together - focus on Pickering volunteers

The Dulson family, from Pickering, have turned volunteering into a family affair, with mum, Cheryl, dad Matt, daughter Jett, 16, and Ben, nine, all playing their part in supporting people shielding or self-isolating in the town.

Jett is the Pickering Volunteer Group’s youngest official volunteer. Unable to continue studying for her A-levels at York College due to the lockdown, she has been shopping for five separate residents in Mill House retirement flats.

Cheryl answers the phones for the group taking calls from people needing support, while Matt also helps with shopping requests and Ben gets in on the act by putting up posters for the group in the town.

It’s a real community-wide group that has pulled together in Pickering to support up to 253 requests for help in the group’s busiest week. One superstar volunteer, Sharon, landlady of the Sun Inn did 67 “helps” alone in one week.

And requests have come in from all over the country from worried relatives asking for help to support people in the town because they are unable to visit.

Ryedale District Cllr Carrie Brackstone, group co-ordinator, said: “We have a core volunteer group of 30 consisting of people from all walks of life.

“They are all amazing and willing to go that extra mile to support others. Stacey, one of our , walks into Pickering from Middleton to get people’s shopping as she doesn’t drive.”

The group has been supported by local businesses, including The Coop and Savage Cabbage, who have provided hand sanitiser for volunteers.

Carrie added: “When the lockdown was announced I wanted to do something to help, but I knew that I would have to shield my disabled daughter and newborn son, born in December, nine weeks early. The only way that I knew I could help was to co-ordinate the phones.

“It has been such a life-affirming experience to see the community in action. I took a walk around Pickering, just the other day, and knocked on a few doors of the people that we have helped to say hello.

“It would be nice to think that in some way this crisis could leave a positive legacy as many of our volunteers are keen to continue supporting the lonely and vulnerable in our community.”