Good Neighbour Schemes

What is a Good Neighbour Scheme?

Good Neighbour Schemes (GNS) are established and run by local people to provide day-to-day support for other residents who may need help on an occasional or regular basis.

The aim is to support neighbours to maintain a good quality of life, remain independent in their own homes if they wish to, and reduce their reliance on statutory health and care support systems.

The schemes provide a social ‘safety net’ for their village or local area. Volunteers complete practical tasks (such as driving or shopping) and/or provide emotional support (befriending). They do not offer specialist care or play any role that should be left to professional, qualified services. Nor do they provide volunteers to carry out skilled tasks that are appropriate for qualified tradespeople. And they are a great way of bringing a community together to help everyone.

The benefits

Good Neighbours schemes can benefit local volunteers as well as the people they are helping.

For someone volunteering their time, the scheme is a chance to:

  • Get involved with your community and do as much or as little as you want. There’s no need to feel awkward if you can’t always help.
  • Meet new people who you might not have met otherwise, including those from different generations.
  • Make use of whatever time you have to spare as well as particular skills you may have, such as IT or gardening expertise.

For those being helped, the scheme is a chance to access support to complete jobs that may normally be difficult for them to do alone. But the scheme could also:

  • Give them the opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Stop them from feeling they are ‘bothering neighbours if they need to ask for help frequently.
  • Help them to stay in their own home for longer as they get older.
  • Soften the impact of losing local services such as the village shop or post office
  • Enable them to become a volunteer because they have skills to offer that otherwise they may not be able to share

How you can help

In order for a Good Neighbours scheme to work in a village, parish area or neighbourhood, we need at least one person from that area to volunteer as a co-ordinator.

Their job will be to match people who need help with volunteers in the area who are willing to give that help.

Parish Councils, residents’ groups or other kinds of community organisations that are interested in starting a Good Neighbours Scheme in their area can contact:

[email protected]
01604 825884

In return we offer:

  • An overview of how a Good Neighbours scheme could work for your community group, residents group or Parish Council.
  • Guidance on establishing if there is demand for a Good Neighbours scheme in your area.
  • A toolkit, based on national good practice, on how to run a Good Neighbours scheme.
  • Support to get your scheme up and running.

Are you in the Daventry District?

If so, we particularly want to hear from you if you are interested in starting a Good Neighbours scheme. Northants ACRE is working with Daventry District Council to develop schemes across the Daventry District and our first scheme is already underway in Moulton. DDC see the schemes as fitting well with their Ageing Well strategy.

Not only that but Daventry District Council has funding available to help villages interested in setting up a scheme in their area. Contact Emma Parry, DDC Community Projects Officer for more information on 01327 302418 or email [email protected] .