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Community Action Norfolk, Ambassador Way, Greens Road, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 3TL


9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday)


CAN Main Office: 01362 698216


Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I set up a Good Neighbour Scheme?

Why not? Good Neighbour Schemes are a fantastic way of ensuring that no one in your community feels isolated and bringing your community together. Whether running a formal or more informal group, the ethos of being a 'good neighbour' is something that is well recognised across the UK. As a concept GNS's are becoming more and more recognised by both residents and public organisations as safe, trusted and 'go-to' community groups that make a real difference in their communities.

What will I get out of volunteering?

Good Neighbour Schemes are a great way of getting involved in volunteering and helping your local community - you can be flexible with how many hours you can give and your help will always make a difference.

Volunteering can bring a number of benefits including;

  • Giving something back to the community
  • A chance to gain new skills and experience
  • The opportunity to make new friends and contacts in your area
  • Increase in self esteem and confidence
  • Personal pride and fulfilment
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • A chance to make a difference or be an advocate of something positive
What are the benefits of joining the Network?

Being part of the Norfolk Good Neighbour Network will give you the opportunity to join other like minded groups and individuals to make a positive change to people in your community. You will get access to support from our dedicated Good Neighbour Network Co-Ordinator and your peers, as well as an array of documents/templates to use and will have access to training and networking opportunities both in the county and beyond.

By us working together and supporting one another, we will build a stronger and more resilient community.

How much does it cost to join the Network?

There is no cost to joining the Network, in return for the support we can offer, all we ask is that you keep in touch with us and update us on a regular basis as to how active you have been in your community.

How do we make things safe?

Having a few robust policies and practices in place to ensure your volunteers, service users, and Scheme are safeguarded is really important. To join our Network we ask that you understand safeguarding and put in place an appropriate policy and procedure, any volunteers carrying out Regulated Activity are appropriately DBS checked and insurance is also required to cover your activities. The good news is we can provide guidance and template documents to help with this.

Do volunteers need a DBS check?

Not all volunteers need a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check, these are only required for volunteers that are carrying out what is classed as regulated activity. In Good Neighbour Schemes regulated activity is either handling cash (i.e. shopping) or driving someone to a medical appointment.

DBS checks should not be the only thing in place to assess the suitability of a volunteer though. We can help you put together a recruitment process that allows you to find the right people for your scheme.

Why do we need public liability insurance?

Whichever way you set up your group, public liability insurance helps to safeguard your group and its volunteers should any accidents occur or claims be made against them during your activity. You may also need to consider taking out employers liability insurance as you are managing volunteers too.

Why do we need policies and procedures?

Having a few good policies and procedures help you to ensure that your group's voluntary activities are appropriate, consistent and safe. They also ensure you are mitigating or minimising any potential risks that your Scheme and its volunteers may encounter. In the unlikely situation that any concerns or issues do crop up, you have good guidance and a procedure to deal with the situation appropriately.

Rather than thinking of these a 'red tape' think of them as a friend, ready to provide words of advice and support throughout your journey, and at any challenging times!

Can you provide us with funding?

We can support a new group by paying for your first year of insurance and the initial costs of a mobile phone. We will also pay for the first batch of DBS checks for you. After that, should you need any further funds for a specific project, as long as you are a constituted group we can investigate what funding pots might be available, and help you apply for these.

Do volunteers need any type of training?

Some training can be very useful to volunteers, especially if they have not be involved in charitable/community work before. Community Action Norfolk run a volunteer induction training session every two months, where all new and/or existing volunteers are encouraged to attend if the group doesn't have it's own training. A list of training opportunities provided by us as well as other organisations will be provided.

Is there anything a GNS won't do?

Good Neighbour Schemes do not offer specialist or personal care or play any role that should be left to a professional, qualified or formal support services. Nor should volunteers carry out tasks that are appropriate for suitably qualified tradespeople. Schemes have the autonomy to decide what services they can offer depending on the availability and skill set of their volunteers.

How much does it cost to run a scheme?

All the Schemes' services are free, however expenses for petrol or parking are requested to ensure the volunteer is not out of pocket. Donations for running costs are usually welcomed and encouraged, and some Schemes will actively fundraise to help support the work they do. After the initial year of the Scheme you may have to consider paying for the cost of insurance and DBS checks, along with other promotional expenses.