A FAMILY is doing their bit to help coronavirus research - with a drop of their blood.

When a letter from Imperial College, London, dropped on Sophie and Benjamin Clarke's doormat out of the blue, asking them to help with a study, they did not hesitate.

The organisation was looking for adults, chosen at random, to try out a new home testing kit to identify who has had Covid-19.

Benjamin, aged 26 and Sophie, 25, were delighted to help and, after signing up to take part, took delivery of their testing kits this week.

The test involves pricking the finger and placing a drop on a device similar to a pregnancy test.

After 20 minutes a line in a window states whether there are coronavirus antibodies present or not.

Imperial College, who is running the study for the Department of Health and Social Care, stresses that the results are not 100 percent accurate and, therefore "should not be used to guide your behaviour".

Instead, the study wants to assess how easy it is for people to use a home test kit.

Sophie, a stay-at-home mum from Harwood, found the test straightforward to carry out but, as she is out and about regularly, shopping for various self-isolating relatives, she was surprised at the results.

Both Sophie, who regularly volunteers as a short term foster carer for disabled children, and architectural technician husband Benjamin tested negative for antibodies.

"We were hoping we would have immunity so we wouldn't be so scared to go out," said Sophie.

"Me and my husband were really ill in December. He spent a week in bed and and I was three days when I couldn't physically move.

"I thought I had had it, but this test shows I have obviously not."

But Sophie is still pleased that she has been able to do her bit to help develop a response to tackling the virus and has even agreed that eldest daughter Scarlett, aged six, can take part.

"If you get the chance to help you should do," said Sophie.

"It just takes half an hour to do altogether and you have to fill a form out at the end online, but that's nothing if we can potentially get some answers that can help get rid of Covid."

Imperial College says that once trials of the home testing kits are completed, they plan to send them out more widely in a bid to assess the prevalence of Covid-19 and possible immunity in the community.