AN army of volunteers is being rounded up to help the community as coronavirus spreads across the UK.

Atherton and Atherleigh councillors are looking for people to help vulnerable people who may have to self-isolate for a long period of time as the threat of COVID-19 looms.

The Wigan Council representatives are looking to build a team who are not elderly or have underlying health conditions or mobility issues and have a DBS certificate and driving licence.

Ideally they will have experience in the voluntary or public sector.

Once a team has been assembled, they will be trained in infection control measures and best practices.

Atherton councillor James Paul Watson said: With national and regional guidelines changing daily we decided to take the initiative by establishing a local strategy that we can implement if there is a lockdown in Atherton. 

“We decided to set it up after seeing what has happened in mainland Europe and how COVID-19 has escalated and affected social cohesion there.

"Our aim is to be honest and realistic to our residents but to be prepared as our community will be reliant on volunteers.

"As councillors we have in-depth local knowledge of our residents and infrastructure; we are community leaders and have a responsibility for the welfare of our residents.

"It is this duty of care that motivated us to be proactive in this crisis.

"Our goal is to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities are catered for.

"Once we have a network of volunteers we will identify those who are most vulnerable and may have to self isolate for long periods.

"It is not just about just doing their weekly shopping or collecting prescriptions but about physical and mental stimulation as social isolation is a major concern of ours."

Cllr Watson said the plan in his ward and Atherleigh will tie in with the council's five-point plan to tackle the virus in the borough.

He also urged people not to panic buy in supermarkets as there is no problem with the food supply.

To find out more about volunteering in the Atherton ward contact James by emailing

To get in touch about helping in Atherleigh email Cllr Debra Wailes at