A grand offer to help good neighbours thrive

Communities in Daventry District can apply for up to £1,000 of funding to set up a scheme aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of their residents.

Daventry District Council (DDC) is offering the grants to groups wanting to set up a Good Neighbours Scheme in their area, as well as a toolkit, based on national good practice, to help them get established.

Good Neighbours Schemes work by setting up a volunteer co-ordinator in a village, parish, or neighbourhood area, whose job is to match people who need help with vetted volunteers in the area who are willing to be a good neighbour by offering that help.

They are currently up and running in Moulton, Crick, Welton, Byfield, while there are six further schemes pending in Kilsby, Woodford Halse, Long Buckby, Boughton, Welford and Creaton.

The scheme’s profile was raised on a national level recently when it was featured in the Village Survival Guide, a new book published by the Prince’s Countryside Fund which aims to help rural communities thrive. The Guide is available at https://www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/research/read-vsg

The Good Neighbours scheme is run by DDC in partnership with Northamptonshire ACRE to help combat social isolation and loneliness, and develop community spirit and cohesion.

DACT (Daventry Area Community Transport) can help set up Village Travel Clubs, and Daventry Volunteer Centre Happy at Home Partnership can help with the recruiting of volunteers.

Councillor Alan Hills, Portfolio Holder for Community, Culture and Leisure, said: “Good Neighbours Scheme are already proving really valuable in a number of areas of Daventry District, by giving a helping hand to the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community.

“We’d love to see more schemes established throughout the District and there is funding and support available, so I would urge parishes and community groups to please get in touch with us to find out how to get involved.”

For further information visit http://www.daventrydc.gov.uk/goodneighbours

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