Good Neighbour Scheme launched by kind-hearted villagers
A group of villagers have launched a scheme to support those in need of help in their community after fearing some residents might be isolated and lonely.
A Good Neighbour Scheme has been started in Acton, near Sudbury, and more than 50 people attended the launch event on Sunday to find out more.
More than 35 schemes have been set up across the county by Community Action Suffolk, with people volunteering to help other residents with everyday tasks, regular contact or friendship.
Jen Bacon, 34, who works in the eye clinic at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, first came up with the idea 18 months ago with Tony Dyer, who died last year.
“I heard that someone had got a lift to the hospital, and it got me thinking: ‘What happens in our village?’ That’s when we started looking into it and got in touch with Community Action Suffolk.
“Tony and I worked together on it, and it’s great that we have launched the scheme and have something formally in place to be able to help people in the community.”
The six-strong committee of Mrs Bacon, Teresa Farley, Lynn Grimstead, Angel Doyle, Tracey Griffiths and Carol Dyer, Tony’s wife, will put users in touch with a volunteer who can help them.
Mrs Farley, who is joint secretary, said: “We’re not an emergency service and we’re not out to put gardeners or local tradesmen out of business.
“There are people in Acton who don’t drive or maybe only one person in the family drives, so if something happens to that person that others can become isolated.”
Sally Connick, Good Neighbour Scheme development officer at Community Action Suffolk, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Acton over the last few months to set up their scheme.
“We’ve got Snape, Rendlesham and Hadleigh who are all looking at setting up Good Neighbour Schemes so hopefully there will some good news in launching those.
“I’ve been really pleased to have Age UK, Go Start Community Transport, Citizens Advice here today to support the scheme in setting up because it’s so important that a Good Neighbour Scheme links in with other organisations to support people in communities.
“It shows the commitment of the people in the community wanting to make a difference and that’s what the scheme will do.”
For more information on Good Neighbour Schemes, email email@example.com