Reignite your community spirit

The campaign, led by Community Impact Bucks aims to improve community cohesion by reconnecting communities and encouraging more interaction between local people.

The charity is offering free support to any village or community that wishes to start a ‘Good Neighbours’ project in their area. Schemes are designed around the unique needs of each group but typically comprise a team of volunteers who can run errands and perform basic DIY and gardening tasks for local residents.

Service Manager at Community Impact Bucks, Ian Hopper, says there is a growing need for support of this kind:

‘As public sector funding continues to reduce services, local communities are facing increasing pressure to do more for themselves, but this can only happen when relationships between residents are strong. People are increasingly living parallel lives – The Good Neighbours Project is all about reversing that trend and helping communities set up their own self-sustaining support system’

The appeal coincides with International Day of Friendship, a United Nations Initiative designed to inspire peace and build bridges between communities. An idea that has growing significance people considering a million older people regularly go a month without speaking to anyone.

A similar initiative was launched recently in Thame and has already made a visible impact not only on beneficiaries’ lives but on the wellbeing of the volunteers themselves.

Lizzie Spokes is one of the coordinators helping to run Thame Good Neighbour Scheme:

‘Some people just want someone to talk to and can really benefit from someone popping in for a chat or doing the odd job. It’s been really rewarding for volunteers to see what a difference such a simple act can make’

As the Volunteer Centre for Buckinghamshire, Community Impact Bucks can also provide a range of volunteering opportunities for individuals who wish to support specific communities or charities.

For more information call 0300 1111 250 or email