Good neighbours for Whitton

EVERYBODY needs good neighbours.That is the message from Ipswich-based charity, Suffolk ACRE, which is launching its first urban pilot of its Good Neighbours Scheme in Whitton.

EVERYBODY needs good neighbours.

That is the message from Ipswich-based charity, Suffolk ACRE, which is launching its first urban pilot of its Good Neighbours Scheme in Whitton.

The scheme, which will be the 16th one in the county, sees a group of volunteers come together to provide help for residents in the area.

It is set to be officially launched at the Whitton Sports and Community Centre by the Mayor of Ipswich Inga Lockington, on September 12, at 7.30pm.

Gavin Hodge, Good Neighbour Scheme co-ordinator at Suffolk ACRE, has been working closely with members of Ipswich Community Church to develop the scheme in Whitton.

He said: “I am delighted that we have been able to develop this first urban pilot of the Good Neighbour Scheme, and it would not have been possible to bring the scheme about so quickly without the help, support and enthusiasm of the members of the community church.

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“We already have a team of more than 20 volunteers, who have all had criminal record checks, and I do hope that residents of Whitton will make use of the services being offered freely by volunteers.

“Remember that no job is too small.”

A variety of services are available to any resident of Whitton in need, though principally the elderly and vulnerable.

Services include befriending the elderly and the lonely, providing lifts, especially to doctors' surgeries and hospital appointments, minor domestic repairs such as checking smoke alarms and changing light bulbs, and help with filling forms and advocacy.

All the services are offered free, with the exception of giving lifts for which the driver is compensated for his/her running costs by the client, usually at 35 pence per mile.

The helpline number after the launch will be 07946 613570 and can be used by any resident of Whitton in need of the services on offer.

Do you have any stories to tell about good neighbours? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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