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Plan for new Norfolk 'good neighbour' scheme

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 February 2011 | UPDATED: 10:53 27 February 2011

Rev Andrew Beane.

Rev Andrew Beane.

People living in villages on the outskirts of Norwich are being urged to offer help to those in need as part of a new scheme which is being launched.

Organisers of the St Faiths’ Good Neighbour Scheme are looking for people in Horsham and Newton St Faith to help make life easier for people in the community, especially the elderly, by offering their support in a range of practical ways.

The new scheme revolves around a group of volunteers who offer help in a number of ways, by giving a lift (with compensation for petrol), checking a smoke alarm or changing a light bulb, fixing a tap, tidying a garden, taking care of pets, or befriending someone who is lonely or new to the area.

There are already similar schemes in three other parts of the county, including Potter Heigham, near Great Yarmouth.

Reverend Andrew Beane, rector of Horsham St Faith, Spixworth and Crostwick, who is part of the committee looking to implement the scheme, said: “The idea is that people volunteer to go on a list of people who are willing to help a neighbour in need. So if there’s an elderly or vulnerable person who needs help, on a one off occasion, with things like changing a light bulb or who can’t get to the shops, they can ring this number and there will be a group of people who will come and help. ”

A core group of volunteers will hold the scheme’s mobile telephone number on a rota basis. They are backed by a team of volunteers, who will all be CRB checked, who will agree to help in one or more ways - things from changing light bulbs to mowing lawns.

The scheme phone number will be made known throughout the area and anyone living in the area can call the line for help.

Rev Beane added: “We’re looking for volunteers to be part of it.”

The Potter Heigham scheme, which was launched last summer, 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.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the scheme or volunteer themselves should call Mike Hill on 01603 890710 or attend a meeting on Monday<28>at Mission Rooms, Horsham St Faiths at 11am.

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