Lend a helping hand in Potter Heigham

Anthony CarrollA Norfolk village is proving a neighbourly place to live in thanks to volunteers changing light bulbs, mowing lawns and doing the weekly shopping.About a dozen villagers in Potter Heigham, near Great Yarmouth, are showing their community spirit by lending a helping hand to neighbours.Anthony Carroll

A Norfolk village is proving a neighbourly place to live in thanks to volunteers changing light bulbs, mowing lawns and doing the weekly shopping.

About a dozen villagers in Potter Heigham, near Great Yarmouth, are showing their community spirit by lending a helping hand to neighbours.

The Potter Heigham Good Neighbour Scheme, is the first of its kind in north Norfolk and has been set up to ensure there is a sense of good neighbourliness in the community.

Anyone who needs help in domestic chores or a lift can call a dedicated telephone line to book a volunteer to assist them.


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Yesterday at the official launch of the scheme, 78-year-old Michael Harris and his wife Yvonne, 75, made full use of the volunteers as they visited their home in Bridge Road.

Mr Harris has already used the volunteers to take him to his doctors and help out around the house and his garden as he is recovering for a road accident.

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He said: 'I can not say enough about how good the scheme is. They have taken me to my doctors, cut the lawn and collected my medication from the surgery.

'It is an asset that anybody should use if they need it.'

The scheme has a mobile phone number - 07884 246687 - which villagers can call between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday to ask for help.

A co-ordinator will then see which volunteer is best placed to help,

Liz Grave-Morris, from the scheme's steering committee, said: 'Potter Heigham is a lovely village with a great community.

'But today's life is lived at a different pace and people often do not really know their neighbours and so the need for simple acts of kindness is not always apparent.

'By putting those who need a helping hand in touch with those who are prepared to give a bit of time, we hope to re-introduce a sense of good neighbourliness.'

The Potter Heigham Good Neighbour Scheme has been funded for its first year by the Victory Housing Trust and is supported by the Norfolk Rural Community Council.

It is hoped the scheme could be rolled out to other north Norfolk villages.

John Archibald, chief executive of the Victory Housing Trust, said: 'This is exactly the kind of initiative which makes a community vibrant, caring and a great place to live.'

Anyone who would like to volunteer for the scheme can also contact it on 07884 246687.

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