Good Neighbour Schemes

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At Community Action Norfolk we 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.

A Good Neighbour Scheme is a small but structured group of volunteers who offer to do simple tasks for those most in need in their community.

This might include things such as changing a light bulb, hanging a picture, offering some company, collecting prescriptions, giving someone a lift, help with filling in forms and much more.

Those people who may need the support of a Good Neighbour Scheme may be older people, people with disabilities, single parents, young mothers, those temporarily in need through illness or anyone who may be isolated in the community.

Why should I get involved?

In survey after survey we have been told that people in rural Norfolk want to see more community spirit in their towns and villages, they want to encourage more volunteering and they want the best care possible for the most vulnerable.  A Good Neighbour Scheme provides all of these and more. They can foster a feeling of wellbeing not only for the residents who benefit from the help they receive, but also for the volunteers who gain a sense of purpose and a way of giving something back to the community.

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 in creating a helpful toolkit to help you manage your schemes.

What does it cost?

Once a scheme is up and running the costs are minimal – a few hundred pounds per year. Setting up a scheme for the first time may require some support from us to help you find volunteers, to set up systems, train your team, you will need insurance and DBS checks for volunteers and a phone will be needed so people can contact you and you can contact volunteers. That’s it.

We would normally look for about £3000 to set up a scheme from scratch with at least £750 of that money going directly to the Good Neighbour Scheme to pay for insurance etc. in year one.  We would be happy to help you find funding - in the past we have received funding from the BIG Lottery, District Councils, Parish and Town Councils  and Public Health to develop schemes. 

In the first year you will get:

  • Help to find initial funding to set your scheme up
  • Initial consultation to see if others are interested (volunteers or clients)
  • Help to find volunteers
  • Help with marketing and promotion
  • Training in running schemes, fundraising, managing volunteers etc.
  • Templates and model policies
  • Advice on safeguarding, insurance and  Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS)
  • Ongoing support
  • Access to toolkits

Schemes are also eligible for membership to Community Action Norfolk which can bring in additional advantages including regular updates and information about what else is available in your area to support you and your community.  Your first years membership will be included in all schemes that we support.

If you are interested in developing a scheme in your community talk to one of our development team