Jack McLean

Everybody needs Good Neighbours?

A survey is set to go out asking Spalding residents if everyone does indeed need Good Neighbours?

The Good Neighbours scheme has been set up elsewhere in the country, including in the Long Sutton and Holbeach area, and involves volunteers carrying out tasks for those that need or request them.

Now residents are to be asked if a Good Neighbours group will be welcomed in Spalding.

It’s similar to the work the Pride of Britain winning Spalding COVID Kindness Team carried out earlier this year around the time of lockdown, and many of their committee are involved including coun Jack Mclean.

“It’s again about helping local people,” he said. “What the Kindness Team are bringing to the fold are their army of volunteers who are already there and ready to help out.

“We were looking for something else to carry it on and this opportunity has almost fallen into our laps.

“It shares the same goals we’re looking to achieve but it also provides opportunities to do much more for residents including formalising the process and making sure it’s there for the long term.

“It’s still very early days and there’s no formal committee but it’s an exciting initiative which should be to the benefit of the town.”

The Good Neighbours scheme is to be run in conjunction with Community Lincs, part of YMCA Lincolnshire, an independent charity working to sustain and improve the quality of life for individuals and local communities.

Coun McLean (pictured) is part of a working group including coun Angela Newton, Katy Gale of Lincolnshire Community Voluntary Service, South Holland District Council Communities Team, Val Gemmell of Welland Senior Forum and Michael Morris of Tonic Health.

A spokesman for Community Lincs, said: “The Spalding Neighbour Scheme aims to enhance the quality of life for residents by helping people, over the age of 18, do the sort of tasks that good neighbours would lend a hand with.

“This could include help with; fetching prescriptions, occasional shopping, befriending, lifts to GP/hospital appointments, form filling, penpal letter writing, pet-care and dog walking, light gardening and digital skills, on a short-term basis.

“Services are primarily aimed at the elderly, disabled, vulnerable, frail, lonely and those living alone. The scheme is not designed to replace statutory core services.

“Help is given free although a reasonable charge is made for transport mileage.

“We are distributing and promoting a residents’ survey in early November to establish the demand for a Good Neighbour Scheme.

“This will provide an indication of how many people are willing to volunteer to support the local community, it will also ensure our Good Neighbour scheme meets the needs of our community.”

Surveys will need to be completed by Monday, November 30 and it’s available online here.

For help with the survey contact either Val Gemmell on 01775 719071 or Spalding Covid Kindness on 01775 302103.

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