No two Good Neighbours services are identical but the intention is broadly similar in every case. Namely, to offer the practical help that can make all the difference to older people - whether it's collecting a pension or a repeat prescription, walking the dog or changing a light bulb.
Often family members might live too far away to visit regularly so Royal Voluntary Service Good Neighbours provide valuable company and friendship as well as making sure the older person is safe and well.
Good Neighbours will spend perhaps an hour a week either in person or over the phone in the company of an older person. Sometimes classes - from IT to tea dances to Tai Chi - are run as part of the scheme.
It's our way of helping people stay independent whilst providing friendly, social contact and making sure they're safe and well. Good Neighbours help counter social isolation and the service can act as a pre-emptive step to keep those who are vulnerable out of hospital.
Working with local GPs, Royal Voluntary Service will identify those older people in the local community who are most risk of ending up in hospital within the next year. By acting first, Good Neighbours can alleviate the strain on local services.