Good Neighbour Schemes

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Community Action Norfolk believe that the people best placed to help the community – ARE the community! This is why we have been helping communities to develop their own solutions for more than 25 years. 

One of the most enduring ways a community can help themselves is through the development of a Good Neighbour scheme.

Find active Good Neighbour Schemes here


What is a Good Neighbour Scheme?

Good Neighbour Schemes are set up and run by a group of local people to provide day-to-day support for other residents in their community who may need help on an occasional or regular basis. 

The scheme provides a social ‘safety net’ for residents of your village or local area to help ensure that vulnerable people are supported by local volunteer’s completing practical tasks such as driving, shopping or helping with small jobs in the home, and also providing emotional support such as befriending.  Volunteers do not offer specialist care or play any role which should be left to a professional and / or qualified service, but they are there to be a friendly face and a point of contact for people that would otherwise have nowhere else to turn.

All the schemes’ services are free, however expenses for petrol or parking are requested to ensure the volunteer is not out of pocket.  Donations for running costs are usually welcomed, and some schemes will actively fundraise to help support the work they do.

A Good Neighbour Scheme operates mainly through telephone contact.  Typically, there is a mobile phone available which is allocated to a Duty Volunteer.  Once they have received a call for help, tasks are allocated to an appropriate volunteer.

In summary

"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.  Schemes also provide a locally available meaningful opportunity for residents to volunteer their time and energy."


Why are Good Neighbour Schemes needed?

We all need some support at various times in our lives, and to help us we draw on a range of resources.  Some types of support are formal (e.g. GP surgeries, care agencies or charities) whilst others are informal (e.g. family, friends, colleagues or neighbours).  Our experience shows that there is often a gap between the formal and informal support in local communities, with many kinds of non-critical need going unaddressed. 

Help with things like that ‘little bit of help’ round the house, tidying up the garden, going to the shops to get your weekly food shop, or getting a lift to a doctor’s appointment can make a huge difference to someone’s wellbeing.

One of our structured Good Neighbour Schemes is what could be developed to address this level of need.


What can Community Action Norfolk do?

Community Action Norfolk has helped more than 20 schemes to start in Norfolk – some of these are still going strong after many years. We are involved in developing the national standards for Good Neighbour work and want to develop a successful network of schemes throughout Norfolk to support those feeling lonely and isolated.  

To support the development  of Good Neighbour Schemes we are able to help you every step of the way.  Our Development team are available to; 

  • Help recruit volunteers in your area
  • Help with the marketing and promotion
  • Provide the training which will support your volunteer role
  • Signpost you to other organisations and indivduals that would support your scheme
  • Provide a toolkit which will be your go to book with everything you need to know
  • Produce template documents of the policies and other important documents to help you run your scheme effectively
  • Act as a point of contact for any concerns you may have


Where are Norfolk's Good Neighbour Schemes?

There are currently 12 Active Good Neighbour Schemes in Norfolk, details of which can be found here.  All of these schemes are also keen to speak to anyone living in their areas that would be interested in volunteering for them.  To find out more either call us on the number below, or contact the Good Neighbour Scheme direct.

As well as these groups we also have a number of other groups developing that are looking for volunteers!  These groups are in; 



POPPYLAND (Trimingham, Bacton, Gimingham, Northrepps, Southrepps, Mundesley,Overstrand)

STALHAM - Come along to our next meeting WEDNESDAY 25th MARCH at 2pm (location to be advised) - All Welcome



Volunteering for a Good Neighbour Scheme

Good Neighbour Schemes are a great way of getting involved in volunteering and helping your community - you can be flexible with how many hours you can give and your help will always make a difference.   

Volunteering can bring a number of benefits including;

  • Giving something back to the community
  • A chance to gain skills and experience 
  • The opportunity to make new friends and contacts in your area
  • Increase in self esteem and confidence
  • Personal pride and fulfilment 
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • A chance to make a difference or be an advocate of something positive

If you feel like you have some time to give something back to your community, or you know of someone that would benefit from this type of scheme in your area.  Please get in touch to find out more.  

Call us at our office on  01362 698216 or email [email protected]