About Good Neighbour Schemes

Why are Good Neighbour Schemes needed?

We all need support at various times in our lives, and to help us, we draw on a range of resources. Some kinds of support are formal from things such as GP surgeries, care agencies or charities, whilst others are informal for example family, friends, colleagues or neighbours.

Our experience shows that there is often a gap between these two types of support in local communities, with many kinds of non-critical need going unaddressed, this is where Good Neighbour Schemes can help.

Providing assistance like a little bit of help in the home, tidying up the garden, having your shopping delivered if you are unable to leave the house, or getting a lift to a doctor’s appointment can make a huge difference to someone and can allow them to feel safe, secure and better connected with their community. 

The aim of a Good Neighbour Scheme is to support vulnerable neighbours to maintain a good quality of life, remain independent and happy in their own homes and help them to feel better connected within their community.

More about our Good Neighbour Schemes?

Who are we?

  • A support hub, tailored to the needs of our communities, and the skills of our volunteers
  • Individuals that are passionate about volunteering and helping other people
  • Residents that want to make sure that no-one is left alone or isolated with no one to turn to in their hour of need
  • We are neighbours in your community that want to create a safe and sustainable support network for vulnerable people

What we do

  • Offer of contact and companionship through befriending
  • Small 'odd jobs' around the home or garden
  • Dog walking if you are unwell or have an injury
  • Food shopping if you're unable to get out of your house
  • Support to fill out forms or use a new TV, phone or computer
  • Provide lifts to doctors, hospitals, the shops or other appointments
  • Advice on other local support groups, activities or tradespeople
  • Picking up prescriptions

Why we do it

  • We want our community to be resilient to challenges it may face in the future
  • Everyone should be able to call on someone for a helping hand or a listening ear
  • We want our community to be better connected and stronger together
  • We live in a very rural county where it is not always easy to access services, help or information
  • We want to be a service which is recognisable, safe and sustainable
  • There is an ageing population in Norfolk that needs supporting in a more holistic way

About the Norfolk Good Neighbour Network

The Norfolk Good Neighbour Network is designed to support community groups and Good Neighbour Schemes by;

  • Creating networking and peer support relationships between groups and volunteers
  • Providing training, advice and guidance
  • Sharing information from other charities, organisations and services that is relevant to the Schemes
  • Helping to establish and promote best practice approaches
  • Raising awareness of the value of community based support
  • Providing awareness of the risks involved with community work, and advice on how to reduce these

The Network aims to provide a level of assurance, with members expected to provide, or be working towards, a minimum standard of delivery that ensures the group is safe and sustainable.

We currently ask that any member of the Norfolk Good Neighbour Network has;

  • A structure and form of management
  • Volunteer training
  • A level of safeguarding

"We're here to offer co-ordinated information, peer support, networking and training opportunities to locally led, community run voluntary organisations that support neighbours to be less isolated and more independent"

Tracey Allan - Norfolk Good Neighbour Network Co-ordinator

Joining the Network

The Norfolk Good Neighbour Network is open to existing Good Neighbour Schemes as well as other community support groups such as mutual aid groups and community car schemes, which are committed to creating a safe and sustainable group in your area. The origins of groups will differ and will operate differently but it would be expected that all groups would aim to;

  • Support people in need, in your local community to improve their quality of life
  • Develop a sense of mutual support and friendship within the local community


The Network hopes to provide a level of assurance, so there would be an expectation for a group to have the following in place;

  • A structure and form of management to ensure good communication and productivity
  • Volunteer training so your volunteers feel valued and supported
  • Proactive safeguarding measures to reduce the risk of abuse or harm, and ensure volunteers are aware of how to report a concern

What do you get?

Thanks to our National Lottery Funding Membership is FREE, and being part of the Network will give you,

  • Expert advice and support from our dedicated GNS Co-ordinator
  • Access to free training courses
  • Networking and peer support opportunities with other schemes both in Norfolk & beyond
  • Free places at the annual Norfolk Good Neighbour Conference
  • Monthly newsletter including updates and useful information to share
  • Promotion of your Scheme on our website and social media
  • Access to a large number of resources, documents and templates via the dedicated members area of our website

And in return?

The only thing we ask for you to do in return is to support the aims and objectives of the Network by;

  • Providing monthly updates regarding the number of volunteers and requests for help
  • Keeping in regular contact with the Network Co-ordinator
  • Promoting the aims and objectives of the Network
  • Working in a way that seeks to support your whole community in a safe way

Want to know more?

It's an exciting time for this project, and we hope that with the support, help and the connections you make from being part of the Network, it will make volunteering with your Scheme easier, and you feel more confident and capable to deal with the day to day running of your group.

If you would like to join the Norfolk Good Neighbour Network get in touch with our Network Co-Ordinator to find out more.

Just click on the button below or email [email protected]