Good Neighbours Scheme

Overview of the scheme
We seek to match the resident with a local volunteer to visit the resident weekly (same time each week). The volunteer will get local shopping for the resident and will make time for conversation. The aim is twofold: to provide practical help, usually around shopping, for residents who are unable to get out and shop themselves and who have no local family and friends or community network to help them; and to help to lessen social isolation and loneliness, helping them feel more connected with their community.

Limit of volunteer role and responsibilities
The volunteer’s role is to get local shopping and collect medication for the resident and to post letters or parcels for them, if required, and to make time for conversation. The volunteer will go inside the resident’s home only if invited in and if the volunteer is happy to do so. The volunteer is not permitted to accompany or assist the resident in going beyond their home except by prior arrangement with the volunteer coordinator and where the resident is sufficiently mobile to move around without assistance.

Who are the volunteers?
They are local people who have been DBS checked and who have received relevant training around the scheme including safeguarding awareness and confidentiality.

When would the volunteer visits begin?
The scheme coordinator will contact you to discuss the referral in more detail. Then, when a suitable volunteer becomes available, the coordinator will contact the resident to arrange a mutually convenient time for the volunteer to visit.

Before the volunteer arrives for a visit
The resident should have a shopping list ready and also a means of payment. The resident must not hand over their bankcard or PIN number. We encourage the use of pre-payment card schemes where possible but in practice find that most of our volunteers are given cash to use for the shopping. The volunteer must not be asked to pay for the shopping themselves “up front”.

The volunteer is not permitted to carry out any personal or nursing care nor to offer advice on any health, financial or legal matters. Nor is the volunteer permitted to do any laundry, housework or preparation of meals for the resident. If the resident needs more support than the volunteer is permitted to offer then the resident will be referred back to the referrer.

What to do if the resident wants to stop the visits (or has any concerns around the scheme)
The resident can speak directly with the volunteer about this but will also be given a phone number and an email address to access the scheme’s coordinators.

Resident’s agreement
Having explained the above details to the resident, please ensure you have their agreement to the referral and that they would be happy to have a volunteer.

Service access criteria: In referring this resident to the Good Neighbour Support Volunteer Scheme you are confirming that you believe this resident may benefit from our volunteer service and that their needs are not such as to be inappropriate for volunteer help along the lines outlined above.
Additional needs catered for:
Key words - separate with a comma: Plymouth city council, plymouth, good neighbor, support scheme, volunteer