The Benenden Action Team (BAT) has been formed to support local residents throughout the current Coronavirus crisis – offering useful advice and practical support to those in need.
BAT consists of more than 150 local volunteers who are based at different areas of the village and support 2,000 residents within the parish. The volunteers complete a range of duties for those that are ill or unable to leave their home including delivering food parcels and medication, care phone calls and dog walking.
The group is coordinated by Guy Hagan, who has been humbled by the assistance offered by volunteers to help those most in need. He said: “I cannot stress how humbled I have been with this amazing parish full of volunteers, who have unselfishly stepped forward to assist those more vulnerable than themselves. The creation of Benenden Action Team and the support I have had as Coordinator has been fantastic.
“Breaking the parish into eight geographically defined areas, with an area co-ordinator for each one, helps us ensure that even the small dark corners of Benenden have a bright light shone upon them and vulnerable people are identified and supported as needed.”
Georgina Toynbee Colquhoun, whose daughter attends Benenden School, is also a member of BAT and has been supporting local residents during the lockdown. She said: “BAT is very much a team effort, with the premise of helping neighbours, friends and families in need. The community response has been phenomenal, it has been great to see everyone doing their bit.”
BAT has also created a website which is full of useful information and safety advice for those who are quarantining at home. The website contains a list of contact details for external organisations and companies that are offering services to the vulnerable during this time, as well as contact details for individual BAT volunteers.
The group has also shared several activities that residents and their children can complete to help keep them entertained during this quarantine period. Activities include completing online projects and challenges, both academic and co-curricular, joining St George’s Church online through virtual services and submitting poems to be considered for publication in an upcoming book of poetry.