Guide to setting up a Good Neighbours group
How to set up a group
RESEARCH – First we recommend that you do some research – contact social services, charities or churches to see what is already being covered in your local area and what is not. A good source of information can often be the local cafes or village shop, many have notice boards and often know who is meeting who, or what is available locally. Simply talking to people will inform and enable.
GENERATE INTEREST AND FIND ALLIES – Try to find a couple of people in your local area who are also interested in starting a group. Arrange a meeting, it doesn’t have to be too formal, perhaps in a local café or pub and invite people who are integral to the area. For example, the doctors and health team, the vicar, the local councillors and even the Mayor. Include other voluntary organisations such as Rotary Club, Women’s Institute, MIND, Alzheimer’s UK, Age Concern.
HOW DO I FIND OTHER VOLUNTEERS TO JOIN IN? Local knowledge and direct contact often work best. Some organisations will have lists of people who are looking to volunteer. For example, the Council of Voluntary Services, University or local FE college. Some of the more traditional routes to generate interest are through flyers and/or posters in libraries, churches, parish magazine or a community centre. Look at connecting with a local facebook page that may cover your area or start a twitter page – these will all raise awareness of your group and can lead to people wanting to join in.
COME AND SEE HOW A GNN GROUP WORKS – if you want to become a Good Neighbour, join us at one of our Resource Cafes and make some connections that way. We are a friendly bunch and you can also get one-to-one advice from a GNN group advisor. Take a look on the website for a that is near to you or providing similar tasks to what you would like to do. There is always a contact name listed, simply arrange a time when you can meet up to pick their brains for useful Do’s and Don’ts; they will be happy to share.
WHAT OTHER HELP IS AVAILABLE? There are a range of written resources available to you and your Steering Group. A member of the Good Neighbours Network Hub will work alongside you at every stage to support and guide you.
Financially, Good Neighbours can offer Start-Up Grants to cover incidental costs.
Good Neighbours also arranges Public Liability Insurance for all the groups that we support.
UH OH – WHAT IS A STEERING GROUP? Don’t worry! It’s a small group of individuals who share a common purpose and provide direction and guidance for the group. You will need a Treasurer (although you don’t need to be an accountant to do this. if you are one great), a Coordinator – who liaises with volunteers and the tasks required (really good if you are a good organiser) and a Chairperson.
DO I NEED TO FUNDRAISE? The local nature of the groups and the fact that they are all run by volunteers means that the need for funding is minimal. Driving groups usually find that the people they drive are able and willing to contribute a donation to the cost of the journey, and often add in a little extra.
I am already part of a group - can we join the network?
We are always open to welcoming existing local groups joining the Good Neighbours Network, especially as evidence shows that groups supported by a wider network flourish better than those who remain entirely independent. They can operate autonomously while accessing peace of mind and expertise at no cost.
We are not in Hampshire, does that matter?
There are plans for national expansion – contact the Hub direct and we can help you in taking plans forward and get even more people helping people.