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Good Neighbour Schemes

What is a Good Neighbour Scheme?

Good Neighbour Schemes are local, voluntary groups that offer a service in their community for older, vulnerable, and isolated people in need of help and support.

Across Oxfordshire there are around 50 Good Neighbour Schemes offering help in the local community.

The schemes help promote wellbeing for individuals, not only for the residents who benefit from the help they receive but also for the volunteers who are giving something back to the community.

If you are thinking about setting up a Good Neighbour Scheme in your community and would like advice and support, please contact the Good Neighbour Scheme Co-ordinator, Martha Holland, on 01993 776277 or email us at oxfordshiregns@vlu.org.uk

What can a Good Neighbour Scheme offer?

This can vary from group to group depending on the area’s need and the skills and abilities of the volunteers. It is up to the group to decide what services are offered.

Services may include:

  • Providing transport to medical appointments, hospital visits or to day centres
  • Shopping or collecting prescriptions
  • Household tasks, minor repairs, or gardening
  • Walking pets
  • Visiting or befriending
  • Letter writing or simple form filling

How to set up a Good Neighbour Scheme

If you are thinking about setting up a Good Neighbour Scheme in your community, please contact Volunteer Link Up and Martha, our Good Neighbour Scheme Co-ordinator will talk you through the process.

Here’s an idea of the steps involved:

  • Establish the need
  • Obtain local support to help set up the scheme
  • Decide what services to offer
  • Set geographical boundaries for the service
  • Decide how the scheme will be run
  • Funding the scheme
  • Publicise the scheme

Support available to a Good Neighbour Scheme

The Good Neighbour Scheme Support Service is run by Volunteer Link Up in partnership with Age UK Oxfordshire. It is part of the Community Information Network, a project funded by Oxfordshire County Council.

You can use the Locations map to search for Good Neighbour Schemes in your area and also on Oxfordshire County Council’s Live Well Oxfordshire online directory.

Good Neighbour Schemes who sign up to membership of the Good Neighbour Scheme Network are eligible for:

  • A start-up grant
  • Free DBS checks
  • Help accessing insurance cover
  • Good practice guidelines
  • Regular networking meetings
  • Regular emails from the Good Neighbour Scheme Co-ordinator

Once a Good Neighbour Scheme is up and running they can also contact network@ageukoxfordshire.org.uk or 01235 849434 to seek advice and support.