Get In Touch
Community Action Suffolk, Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 0HH
9am – 5pm, Mon-Fri
Good Neighbour Network Development Officer: 07884 563370
Community Action Suffolk Switchboard: 01473 345400
Please click and expand our FAQ’s below to reveal the answers.
Firstly any kind of support you provide to your neighbours or community residents whether formally, or informally is amazing and what we need more of in our communities; and you don’t have to be known as a Good Neighbour
Scheme to join our Network, providing your aims and type of activity is the same.
The Good Neighbour Scheme name and ethos has become more ‘known’ over recent years and been adopted by many community organisations across the UK, with now more than 35 in Suffolk alone. As a concept GNS are becoming more and more recognised by both residents and public organisations as safe, trusted and ‘go-to’ community groups that make a real difference in their communities.
Setting up or becoming a Good Neighbour Scheme or group and introducing a few good policies and procedures is a way of being recognisable and adding extra assurances around the safeguarding of both your volunteers,
and residents who need support and who may be vulnerable.
We know that working together and supporting one another makes for a stronger and more resilient community, and this isn’t just the case for where we live, but for the communities we volunteer to be part of too, through growing our countywide community of Good Neighbours we know that communities will be better supported, but also that our community of Good Neighbours volunteers will be made stronger through shared experience and peer-to-peer support.
Joining the Suffolk Good Neighbour Network allows you to:
- Access direct support and helpful resources from Community Action Suffolk’s Good Neighbour Network Development Officer
- Sign-up to receive our monthly news bulletin packed with helpful info, funding opportunities and local news, inspiration and good practice
- Be invited to take part in networking, learning and support sessions
- To be joined up to other Network members and be invited to yearly Network get-togethers
Having a few robust policies and practices in place to ensure your volunteers, service users, and scheme are safeguarded is really important, to join our Network we ask that you put in place a suitable safeguarding policy & procedure, including a Safeguarding Lead and that any volunteers carrying out Regulated Activity are appropriately DBS checked, we would also recommend you take on appropriate insurance for your groups activities. The good news is we can provide guidance and template documents to help with this!
Appropriate public liability insurance helps to safeguard your scheme/group and its volunteers, should any accidents occur or claims be made against it/them by either your volunteers or members of the community you come into contact with or support during your agreed community activities.
Having a few good policies and procedures, helps you to ensure that your scheme/group’s voluntary activities are appropriate, consistent and safe. They also ensure you are mitigating or minimising any potential risks that your scheme and its volunteers may encounter, and in the unlikely situation that any concerns or issues do crop up, you have good guidance and a procedure to deal with the situation appropriately. Rather than thinking of a few good policies and procedures as ‘Red Tape’ think of them as your friends ready to provide words of advice and support throughout your journey, and at any potentially challenging times!
Generally speaking Community Action Suffolk and the Suffolk Good Neighbour Network project do not hold funding or grants money to distribute to projects or groups, but we can help to connect you with funding that is available to you to help cover your voluntary activities from local government, and working partners such as Suffolk Community Foundation and you can use the Funding 4 Suffolk tool to search or browse funding opportunities that could help to support your Good Neighbour activity.
You can talk to your Suffolk Good Neighbour Network Development Officer Jane to see what training or support she can provide or arrange for scheme/group and its volunteers, she can also help to guide you to other optional sources of training or learning to support you in your activity. Community Action Suffolk also has a wide range of community, voluntary and charity focused training and resources that can be explored here https://www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk/training