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Community Action Suffolk

Good Neighbour Schemes are local voluntary groups who support those in need of help in their community. In 2017, CAS received funding from the Big Lottery to increase the number of schemes in Suffolk and support those already operating around the county. What is a Good Neighbour Scheme? A Good Neighbour Scheme is a voluntary initiative run by a group of local residents who want to help their people in their locality to enjoy a better quality of life by offering them support with every day tasks. This helps to build a stronger and more resilient community where people know each other and help out where needed. The schemes are generally operated via a mobile phone held by a volunteer who will put users in touch with a volunteer who can help them. In 2015 there were approximately 680 volunteers who carried out around 10,000 tasks supporting people in their community.

21 May 2018
East of England
Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Through my role as Good Neighbour Scheme development officer, I aim to build on the interest and commitment from the schemes on the network to ensure their schemes are Dementia Friendly. I have applied for training to help achieve this goal.  This means their volunteers are dementia aware (through workshops).  The reason for this is that the schemes have contact with elderly people, many of them living (diagnosed or undiagnosed) with dementia.  Good Neighbour Schemes are aimed at enabling people to be more independent, retain living at home and enjoying their life by accessing their community and beyond.  Also, the cares of those living with Dementia are more able to access activities and enjoy their lives if they have a supportive Good Neighbour Scheme that understands their needs and challenges.

To ensure that those living with Dementia have the same opportunities, the volunteers that are the backbone of these schemes need to be dementia aware, so that myths dispelled and knowledge and understanding improved. I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me.  

By Good Neighbour Schemes being Dementia aware they can ensure their service meets the needs of those living with dementia as well as challenging/advocating where other services do not.

 live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood

Through my role, I am for schemes on the network to have access to a Dementia Friendly resource pack that will contain local information (as well as regional and national) on Dementia support and organisations.  

By doing the above, the end result will be that people living with Dementia and their carers who are supported by Good Neighbour Schemes have a greater sense of belonging and feel part of community and civic life.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Funding would help to create a 'Dementia Friendly' Suffolk Good Neighbour Network, so without success with application bids then the aim will be more challenging.

Some schemes or individuals may not want to partake in the training, but it is hoped that strength in numbers of those that do will overcome this.

2. Actions