Council looks to kick start ‘Good Neighbour’ networks

Posted on Monday 4th April 2011 at 8:14 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) is offering to help people who would like to get more involved in their community.

The aim is to kick start a number of ‘Good Neighbours‘ networks whose purpose is to match up requests from people who need a helping hand with some simple tasks, with those in their neighbourhood who have volunteered a little time to help others.

Good Neighbours will be a network of local volunteers who could, for example, give someone a lift to the shops, collect a library book or a prescription, offer a little help around the house or just befriend someone who is lonely.

South Gloucestershire Council has produced a useful handbook setting out how to build a Good Neighbours network.  It includes templates and guidelines for all the basic documents that might be needed, including information about getting funding, canvassing support, keeping records, CRB checks and much more.

Sue Jaques, Community Engagement Officer, said: “A Good Neighbours Network can foster a feeling of wellbeing, not only for the residents who benefit from the help they receive, but also for the volunteers. It can give them a sense of purpose and a way of giving something back to the community.  There’s no limit to the scale or scope of a Good Neighbours Network. It could operate in just one street, or in a small village or across an entire housing estate.   And the services that are offered will be determined by the individuals in the area.“

Cllr. Matthew Riddle, Executive Member for Community Care and Housing, commented: “This is a classic example of the Big Society in action.  We know that already many people gladly look out for their neighbours, but this idea will encourage even more people to consider helping their community in a structured way.”

Anyone interested in setting up a Good Neighbours Network in their area should contact Sue Jaques on 01454 868267 for more details.

More info: Good Neighbours Network handbook (SGC) [PDF, 680kB]

Source: South Gloucestershire Council

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