Bosham coronavirus support group delivers PPE and gift hampers to care homes

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A coronavirus support group has announced it has begun delivering PPE and gift hampers to care homes.

On March 12, a discussion began on the Bosham Facebook group page about the looming coronavirus pandemic and BISCuit (a loose acronym for Bosham Isolation Support Community) was formed.

On March 23, the government announced the lockdown. Since then BISCuit has grown into an organisation with over 150 volunteers helping self-isolating and vulnerable residents of Bosham and nearby with anything from food shopping to picking up prescriptions, regular wellbeing telephone calls and even walking the dog.

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To date the group has helped over 80 households with over 170 service requests.

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A spokesman for the group: "As far as possible, they will aim to assign tasks close to where the volunteer lives and group together shops to avoid unnecessary journeys. Many of these requests are regular, with the assigned volunteer developing a supportive relationship with the isolating household.

"We also look to minimise journeys by our volunteers and so requests are added to a weekly or by-weekly visit to a shop. If anyone needs urgent assistance, we will of course endeavour to meet this need.

"As volunteers it is vital that we respect the importance of isolation. Volunteers do not come into close contact with anyone, standing at least two metres away, and they wear gloves for any

deliveries or leafleting."

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They added: "We have a fantastic trio of volunteers who have developed a separate Facebook group to help those in the community with children. If you are in Bosham and have children, search ‘BISkids’ on Facebook and request to join it.

"There have been some great arts and crafts activities, home schooling advice and even a couple of photographic treasure hunts, looking for clues around the village."

The ability to spread smiles at a time like this is invaluable.

As the nation has looked for ways to support those working on the front line, we have reached out to local care homes to see how we can help them. So far, we’ve been able to source emergency PPE donations for seven of them.

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A plan was also formed to deliver much-deserved hampers for the carehomes’ dedicated staff. One of the group's volunteers, Madeleine, coordinated donations of everything from hand cream to chocolates and magazines from the wider volunteer body and made up the hampers and delivered them to seven local care homes, with three more to go.

The manager at a local care home said: "I just wanted to say a massive thank you for donating us some masks. We have been really struggling and it was such a lovely surprise to see

them on my desk this evening. Thank you to your wonderful team."

The group has plans to launch a website in the near future.

Those isolating can call them on 01243 200 462 or email us at [email protected]. A team of call handlers will log the request and a dedicated group of team leaders will assign the task to volunteers.

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