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Making more good neighbours in Suffolk to tackle loneliness

Local communities will be able to offer more help to the elderly and isolated, following £250,000 of Big Lottery funding for Good Neighbour Schemes in Suffolk.

The funding is the result of a successful bid over the last two years, by Community Action Suffolk. It will enable CAS to appoint a full time coordinator to work with Suffolk’s 30 existing Good Neighbour Schemes and support the creation of new schemes.

Good Neighbour Schemes are local voluntary groups who support those in need of help in their community. They help the elderly, isolated, disabled, single parents, young parents and those temporarily in need through illness. The volunteers provide a trustworthy and friendly face and carry out simple tasks such as grass cutting and light bulb changing, or offering transport to social activities and medical appointments.

Chris Abraham, Director of Community Services at CAS, said:

“We have seen first hand the difference having friendly and helpful neighbours in a community can make. Vulnerable people can to continue to live independently and well in their own home.

“We applied to the Big Lottery because existing schemes in Suffolk told us that they need more support from us. This funding can now make that happen and we can also look at setting up new schemes.”

Lavenham Good Neighbour Scheme

The news has also received the support of Geoffrey Probert, High Sheriff of Suffolk, who said:

“Recent research revealed that over 4,000 elderly people in Suffolk had not had a face to face conversation with another person in the last four weeks. This is a scandal which we must all address.

“However Suffolk does have shining examples of Good Neighbour Schemes where community minded folk are befriending and assisting those who are older, less mobile or less fortunate.

“I believe every village and ward deserves a Good Neighbour Scheme and I would urge any community that does not have one, to learn from those who do and to set one up.”

For more information about Good Neighbour Schemes in your area or if you are interested in setting up a scheme, contact Community Action Suffolk on 01473 345300 or [email protected]