A Good Neighbour Scheme is to launch in the Borough of Boston over the coming months.  The development of a Good Neighbour Scheme in the Boston area is possible due to funding from the Empowering Healthy Communities Programme.

Good Neighbour schemes are run by local volunteers who provide day to day support for other residents who may need help on an occasional or regular basis.

A spokesman for the Boston’s Good Neighbour Scheme said while potentially benefiting the whole community, they are aimed primarily at helping elderly, disabled, vulnerable frails or isolated people. For older people, this support may enable them to live independently in their own homes and communities for longer and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Good Neighbour Schemes respond to the needs of local people by providing help with activities such as befriending, home visiting, companionship, someone to go to social events with dog walking and caring for pets during holiday or illness, errands and shopping, filling in forms, writing letters, reading and help to use computers and the internet, gardening.

Giving lifts to a GP surgery, vaccination clinics, hospital, Day Centre, other appointments, household tasks including tuning televisions, changing light bulbs and smoke alarms, moving furniture, taking down and hanging curtains and pictures and much more things that people struggle with.

It is about local people helping their neighbours to enjoy a better quality of life. Good Neighbour Schemes help create an environment where people feel safe and secure because they have genuine connection with one another.

There are currently successful Good Neighbour Schemes in Lincolnshire, including in Spilsby, Holbeach, Long Sutton, Sutton Bridge, Gosberton and Quadring.

At the outset, a survey is undertaken to establish whether or not there is a need for a Good Neighbours Scheme within a community. This will identify how many people would benefit from the scheme, what types of services are required and how many people may volunteer to help. Volunteers indicate what they can do, when and how often according to their availability, skills and resources.

William Gray, Good Neighbour Scheme Associate, said: “Our Good Neighbour Scheme is intended to reduce some of the difficulties on social isolation and offer the practical help, care and compassion we all deserve at times of need. Whether you are offering time as a volunteer or need a greater sense of goodwill, the offer is there for you.

“This scheme is helping with the sort of thing that people probably don’t get assistance from social services with, and may not have family or friends or neighbours who they could call on. Simple things like moving a piece of furniture – or putting up a pair of curtains – fetching a prescription from the chemist or walking the dog. To some these are very little things but they actually make a big difference to the kind of people that need that kind of help.”

Councillor Martin Griggs, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities at Boston Borough Council, said: “We realise one of the hardest things is to reach out for help and sometimes it is difficult to know where to go for this. This scheme can help solve this obstacle for many of our residents and give them reassurance that there are people out there who are willing to help and go that extra mile.”

Surveys are being distributed locally and should be returned to a collection point or via freepost by Friday 17th September 2021 or you fill in online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BostonEnglish other language formats available on the link below.

For more information please visit https://communitylincs.com/projects/good-neighbours-schemes-helping-community/