A GROUP of local residents are doing their bit to raise community spirits and keep people entertained during the coronavirus outbreak.

Whitchurch residents Mark Bishop and Marcus and Amanda Winch have organised a series of events, hosted online, to help engage others stuck at home after the government advised against all non-essential social contact.

From quizzes to fitness sessions to cookery classes and more, the group have already organised a number of events with many more to follow in the coming days.

“We’re trying to get something going for everybody just to keep people sane!” said Mark. “It’s just about engaging the community in whatever way we can.”

The action kicked off last weekend with the ‘not a pub quiz’ quiz, hosted by Amanda, on Saturday followed by a live tour of Furlock Holmes animal rescue centre on Sunday.

Since then members have been treated to a range of activities including a kettle bell session with John Ruffell, a yoga class with Penny, from YOGA with Penny, a cook-along event with Katie Black, from Cookery Doodle Doo, plus another quiz courtesy of Mark.

And the events have spread far beyond Whitchurch and the surrounding villages.

“I did mine last night and we streamed it from my garage,” added Mark.

“Amanda did hers and it reached Canada. Last night it reached Australia and my cousin who lives in Missouri. And hopefully on Monday we’re going to do a worldwide quiz to get loads of people involved.”

So far the activities have proved a great success. Of the 750 or so members, around 500 of them tuned in for Mark’s quiz – but the team are showing no signs of letting up.

They’re already working on new events to host, including bingo, board games and potentially even an online version of the Family Fortunes gameshow.

The group is also keen to hear from others in the area with ideas for possible future events they may like to host or help out with.

“If people have got thoughts and ideas then they are more than welcome to air them,” added Mark.

To find out more or get in touch, search ‘Whitchurch (Hants) Community Live Events’ on Facebook.