Desford Good Neighbour Scheme
The scheme provides a service to the villages of Desford, Botcheston, Newtown Unthank and Kirby Grange.
Local people are supported in a variety of ways like shopping, gardening, walking the dog, a lift to a hospital/doctors appointment. Although small tasks they can make a big different to someone life.
Desford Parish Council invited the Rural Community Council (RCC) to present the detail of the Good Neighbour Scheme initiative which highlighted the benefits to the community, how it would work and any associated costs. Other community groups also attended and there was a great deal of interest.
A working group was formed and with the support of the RCC a public meeting was held and a household survey was undertaken to inform the community of the scheme and to seek volunteers to support it.
The RCC was awarded a SHIRE Grant in March 2016 to enable 12 months of dedicated support to facilitate the establishment of additional Good Neighbour Schemes around the county
The household survey had 139 returns which identified 118 volunteers some of which were interested in forming the steering committee and 48 people who would directly benefit from the scheme.
The steering group opened a community bank account, obtained insurance, adopted appropriate policies and procedures and obtained funding to launch and run the scheme.
Initially 50 volunteers were DBS checked.
The group engaged further with the wider community with a web site, post cards and a launch event.
The Scheme covers the parish of Desford including Botcheston, Newtown Unthank and Kirby Grange and was launched in January 2014.
Local people have come forward as volunteers to support the needs of the more vulnerable in the community.
People have been supported with a range of smaller jobs which make a big difference to their daily lives. Jobs /tasks include; shopping, gardening, walking the dog, a lift to a hospital/doctors appointment. Volunteers have also just been popping in to have a chat with those that are living alone.
The Scheme has led to:
Reduced isolation, both for users of the service and the volunteers
Improved independence - people are able to stay in their own homes for longer with community support undertaking jobs and tasks that they can no longer undertake safely
Improved health and wellbeing – people being able to get out of their homes and take part in community activity.