A CORONAVIRUS support centre is set to be created at a historic Dudley church.

Volunteers are in the process of clearing out and deep cleaning the storage rooms in the former St John's School House in Kates Hill so it can used as a community hub during the coronavirus crisis.

The rooms currently host items donated by the public to be sold in the weekly St Johns Sale Rooms which raise funds for the St John's Church Preservation Group to keep the landmark Dudley church open.

Now the space is being cleared out to create a coronavirus community hub, which will be a base where help can be co-ordinated for elderly and vulnerable people in the area.

Nineteen volunteers turned out last Thursday to help, with more sessions taking place over the weekend to ensure the centre gets up and running as quickly as possible.

Donna Longhurst, who is from Kates Hill and has also launched a Facebook page to help the community, said: "I wanted to do something to help, I just put a post on Facebook asking if anyone was starting anything up in Kates Hill and on a whim set it up."

She hopes the centre will be open this week and then the team will be calling for donations such as food and hygiene products to distribute from the centre to elderly and vulnerable people who are self-isolating and can't get to the shops.

Deb Brownlee, chair of the St John's Church Preservation Group, said: "We are delighted that Donna Longhurst and other members of the local community have come forward to assist in making a centre that will help vulnerable members of the community should it be required in the coming months. It was very far sighted of Donna to suggest this and we are very grateful to all who have stepped forward to help."

To get involved, search for Kates Hill Support Group on Facebook.