We were delighted that the BBC Radio Newcastle Breakfast Show was able to join our Good Neighours shopping trip last week. They spent the morning chatting to our shoppers and volunteers to find out more about how this wonderful project helps to support people stay in their own home and keep their independence. You can listen to the feature from last week’s show below. If you would like to get involved, please contact us for more information.
We’re delighted that our Good Neighbours shopping trip has been featured on a new blog from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Let’s Talk Loneliness is the start of a year long campaign to tackle the stigma around loneliness. This campaign will show that feeling lonely is simply part of being human, much like being hungry, and encourage people to act through easy-to-understand messages and information.
The blog features a case study about Min, one of our lovely regular Good Neighbours shoppers. Min, who is 89 this year and lives in sheltered accommodation in North Shields, has been coming to the shopping trip for several months now, ever since the warden at her accomodation noticed how much trouble she was having with her shopping.
“I think it’s amazing that the volunteers give up their time to help people like me. David, who I was first matched with, was such a great support, he not only helped with my shopping but he’d make sure everything was put away for me at home and even did some odd jobs in the house that I couldn’t manage.”
The Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign features a range of resources, toolkits, suggested media posts and ways to get involved.
Volunteers from our Good Neighbours project recently enjoyed a visit to Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat Station, to learn all about the local rescue service and its fascinating history.
The volunteers, who give up their time to support people in the North Tyneside community with small household jobs, basic DIY, shopping and running errands, usually meet monthly at VODA’s offices to discuss their roles, share experiences and receive training and support. But Ian Brigstock, who coordinates the Good Neighbours project, wanted to give something back to the volunteers themselves and get them out and about in the community. “Our volunteers really deserve some recognition and reward for what they do – they support some of the borough’s most vulnerable people with day-to-day tasks and that makes such a difference. Arranging this visit was just our way of saying ‘thank you.’ We’re really grateful to Tynemouth RNLI too for what was a fascinating visit and we’re looking forward to arranging similar visits over the coming months.”
Volunteer Debbie Wood said: “I really enjoyed going down to Tynemouth RNLI with a really nice group of people. We had a talk from one of the lifeboat volunteers about the work they do and the lives they safe. We also got to see the inshore and all-weather boat and try on the life jackets – there’s a picture of me wearing one!”
The Good Neighbours project is looking for more volunteers – this is a great, flexible volunteering opportunity to help people in your local community. Training and support are provided. Read more about the project here.