Last year health ministers in the U.K. made sweeping cuts to the National Health Service (NHS), an organization that provides primarily free healthcare to those in need. And yet, it took those same ministers just six months to spend over £100,000 on tea and biscuits. Now, an anonymous group of volunteers who wryly call themselves The Biscuit Fund, are helping to contribute what little they can to those who’ve been effected by budget cuts.
The Biscuit Fund is comprised of volunteers that do not have much money themselves. Most of the volunteers in The Biscuit Fund are low-income. Some have a disability or mental health issue and most know what it’s like to fall on hard times. Members of The Biscuit Fund organize and fundraise primarily through social media. The group sends anonymous notes and whatever funding they can gather to people desperate for a change.
The Biscuit Fund doesn’t sift through extensive paperwork to find applicants the way most non-profits do. They have few records and little overhead. Instead, the volunteers sift through social media to find posts indicating struggle. Often times the posts are simply cathartic for the poster. They aren’t expecting a handout and they aren’t asking for help.
A woman, going by the alias Jemima, spoke to The Mirror about how The Biscuit Fund began. Jemima has fibromyalgia, ME and depression. Her and her two children live on basic disability benefits.
“One day, I saw a desperate post saying, ‘My fridge-freezer has broken and I can’t possibly afford a new one. We’ve lost all the food in our fridge and have nothing to eat,’” Jemima told The Mirror.
“I posted to say, ‘There’s a woman in real trouble here, could anyone spare £10?’ and 20 people said yes. There was such a big response, I ended up sending her £270 for a new fridge.”
Since its inception, The Biscuit Fund has helped over 100 people with donations topping £10,000.
Photo via: Rowan Griffiths / Biscuit Fund
For more information, visit http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/