It may be more dunking than Dunkirk, but BISCUIT is ready for action. With the rising likelihood of vulnerable residents and those aged 70 or over having to spend several weeks at home due to Covid-19, a group of volunteers in Bosham have got together to help make their fellow villagers feel cocooned rather than isolated and forgotten. Organised via Facebook by secondary school teacher Christina Procter, the group is called BISCUIT, a loose acronym for Bosham Isolation Support Community. Numbers have swelled to over 100 volunteers in a matter of days, ranging from teachers to IT consultants and writers. You can find the group on Facebook
The group is working in conjunction with well-established community groups such as Bosham Friends, the Monday Club, the Bosham Association and the Holy Trinity Church, who are all passing on the telephone number.
Volunteers are also respecting the importance of self-isolation. They are not making make any face-to-face contact and are adhering to all hygiene guidance and protocols.
A payment system is in place whereby no money or debit card will be passed between volunteers and the people requesting assistance. Payments are dealt with via telephone and online banking to a local social venture account run by a small local church. The group has joined the national register of Covid-19 Mutual Aid groups.
'The aim of the group is to keep spirits high and maintain the mental health of all members of the community,' says Christina. 'The idea was raised on a Bosham Facebook page that we should be looking out for villagers who can't go out or because of this ridiculous panic-buying. It's a community effort. It's inevitable that people with underlying health conditions need to self-isolate to protect themselves and it is about how we as a community can help them feel they aren't alone. We have to balance out the fact that people who are self-isolating may be a bit wary about who they get help from.'