Over the last 3½ years, we in the Good Neighbours have performed approaching 500 jobs, mostly driving residents of Snape and the Maltings to Ipswich Hospital and the local doctors but also, during Covid, collecting prescriptions for those self-isolating. We also host the weekly Meet Up Mondays (MUM) at The Golden Key, which typically attracts around 20 villagers. However, this initiative is being put at risk as volunteers step down for health or family reasons, and/or with expanding responsibilities with the Parish Council or local energy campaigns. One or two kind people stepping forward to help with each of our various tasks would make all the difference to us — especially as we all like a holiday away from time to time!
MUM HOSTS make the (especially good!) coffee, lay tables and generally wait at table for 90 minutes on Monday mornings — and then tidy up again. Fortunately, Zoe and her Crew at the Key kindly do our washing-up afterwards! Our weekly rota has recently reduced to around six people.
PHONEHOLDERS man our phone for a fortnight at a time, and we now have just four on our rota. Potential users can leave their requests on our mobile 24/7 (or in person at MUM), but we only promise we "will respond as soon as possible". We keep a very basic log, and the holder forwards requests on to our team of volunteers by WhatsApp or phone, confirms back to the client, and ticks off each job as it's done. Training for WhatsApp (just like sending a text) can be offered.
One possibility is for someone who is largely confined to their home, but wishes to help the Good Neighbours' effort, to hold the phone most or all of the time — though of course there would always be a ready pool of individuals to step in for holidays and emergencies at a moment's notice.
In fact, with both rotas, we often swap places for holidays and in emergencies, as we are a most flexible and friendly bunch!
Our VOLUNTEERS help with a variety of activities including befriending, lifts and support for doctor/dentist/hospital appointments, occasional support with shopping, dog-walking or any other activities as requested and agreed. Almost all our jobs are lifts, typically half a dozen a month, for which we now have just four volunteers. You can choose the range you're willing to drive — say Saxmundham, Ipswich or Addenbrooke's. If unsupervised face-to-face contact with clients is involved, you will need to be (DBS) security-checked, but this is a simple, unintrusive procedure, which has recently been streamlined.
Joining our Team is also a great way of meeting new friends within the village! If you feel that you could help us as a MUM HOST and/or PHONEHOLDER and/or VOLUNTEER, do please contact our Secretary, David McKenna at email@example.com or on ☏ 0748 489 5871. Thank you.
Snape Good Neighbour Scheme
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This article also appears on page 12 of December's "Ebb and Flow".