What are Good Neighbour Schemes?
Good Neighbour Schemes are groups of local people who have come together to offer a service in their community for those in need of help and support. The people who need support may be elderly, disabled, single or young parents, carers, those temporarily in need through illness or anyone who may be isolated within our community.
Good Neighbour Schemes are not there to replace the work done by Social Services and other professional care agencies. They operate on a much more personal and responsive level than many agency-led schemes, often starting as simple offers of help to a person in your community who needs it. However, they can improve the quality of life of people living more isolated lives in rural communities.
The help offered by Good Neighbour Schemes may include:
- Providing transport for appointments, hospital visits or to Day Care facilities
- Errands, shopping or collecting prescriptions
- Preparing emergency meals
- Household tasks or gardening
- Visiting or befriending
- Letter-writing or form-filling
- Looking after or transporting children
- Helping people after discharge from hospital
- Giving carers a break
- Reading to partially sighted or blind people
- Providing information
Who is the scheme for?
Our scheme is available for anyone living in the parish of Timberscombe.
The scheme is only there to help people in need, those who, for whatever reason, are unable to help themselves and have no family or friends available.
The scheme is not intended to replace professional care or assistance via Social Services.
Why have a Good Neighbour Scheme?
Rural service provision continues to decline and demographic change can lead to a loss of community spirit and cohesion and increased isolation especially in rural communities. Experience from other areas suggests that Good Neighbour Schemes can play a key role in community life. They can:
- Aid community involvement, helping to create a strong social bond and promoting people’s well-being and self-esteem.
- Offer valuable but informal support and advice – a helping hand.
- Allow some people to retain their independence and remain in their homes for longer than would be otherwise possible.
- Reduce feelings of isolation, exclusion and loneliness.
- Lessen the impact of the ongoing decline in rural community services such as Post Offices, shops, pubs and public transport.
- Be seen as preventative services, preventing or delaying the need for more costly intensive or specialist interventions.
- Provide a link between younger and older members of your community, and also between newcomers and more established residents.
- Be seen to have wider consequences within rural areas and often improve the viability and sustainability of our rural communities.
What’s in it for the volunteers?
This is not a paid job, although you will be entitled to expenses for petrol.
The main advantage of a Good Neighbour Scheme is that it will help others and enhance your community by improving the neighbourly spirit and goodwill. The testimony of other Good Neighbours Schemes demonstrates that helping in this way can be a very rewarding experience:
- It can be good fun.
- You can make new friends and it can help against feelings of isolation.
- Helping others will make you feel good, build your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
- You can gain an enormous sense of achievement and feel part of a team.
- You are doing something really useful that won’t get done without your help.
- You can use your talents and prove your capabilities.
- You can learn new skills and develop new interests.
- You can gain valuable experience that may lead to paid work later.
- You can find out more about a type of work you may be considering as a career.
If you are interested in becoming a Timberscombe Good Neighbour volunteer please contact our co-ordinator , Joy Booth, using the contact form below.