We have been made aware of the Good Neighbour Scheme, which has been very successful in other local villages. A Good Neighbour Scheme has a recognised, prescribed format, is supported by the Local Council and revolves around a group of dedicated and committed volunteers who offer help in a number of ways; it is aimed at making life easier for people of all ages in the community.
The help offered could be collecting pensions or shopping, form filling, befriending, minor household repairs or assistance ie changing light bulbs, help with pets or occasional transport ie for a hospital appointment.. The scheme has its own insurance cover and all volunteers are police checked and carry identity badges. The scheme is funded initially by the County Council and after the first year the costs would be covered locally.
How the scheme works:
A core group of volunteers take turns to hold the scheme’s dedicated mobile phone. These people are backed by a larger team of volunteers who agree to help in one or more ways.
The telephone number of the scheme is made known throughout the community and any resident in genuine need can call the line for help of the kind mentioned above.
A coordinator matches each call to an appropriate volunteer who is available on the date required and has the necessary skills for the task.
The volunteer arrives at the agreed date and time to assist as requested.
Cockfield is very good at informally helping each other, a Good Neighbour Scheme would not be looking to replace what is already happening but to extend and compliment it by offering help to more people in the community.