Project information

Good Neighbours

Older people can be amongst the most vulnerable members of our society – over a million older people living in our communities today say that they are always or often lonely. We want to create an army of Good Neighbours across Britain – volunteers who will help older people in their neighbourhoods.

January 2014 - December 2014

Charity information: Royal Voluntary Service

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  • Need


    Our population is ageing – by 2025, the over 75 population is forecast to be 60% larger than in 2010. Older people can be amongst the most vulnerable and isolated members of our society – 1 in 8 older people feel trapped in their own home and half of all older people say that the television is their main source of company. For some older people, practical, everyday things like going shopping, picking up medication or simple tasks around the home like replacing a light bulb can be a real problem.


    Good Neighbours volunteers will provide companionship, practical help and support to older people in their neighbourhoods, helping them to live safely and independently at home.The help they give will be tailored to what each individual older person needs, but can include things like:
    • Transport to GP appointments, shopping or visiting friends
    • Help around the home such as changing light-bulbs or ensuring annual boiler-services
    • Picking up shopping, prescriptions and posting letter

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce isolation amongst older people


    » Recruit and train 750 volunteers to provide companionship and social support to older people

    What success will look like

    Success will be recruiting 750 new volunteers to provide social and practical support to older people.

    Older people will report feeling less isolated as a result of our help.

    Aim 2

    To help older people live safely and independently at home


    » Provide practical help around the home and help to access important services, such as shops or medical appointments to 2,250 older people

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing practical support to 2,250 older people in 2014, to enable them to live the lives they choose.

  • Impact


    The project will deliver 750 new volunteers – we expect that most of these will stay with the organisation for many years, going on to support thousands of older people in their communities.

    We’ll measure long term success by:
    - Looking at how many more older people we are able to support, year on year
    - Measuring the outcomes the project delivers for older people – we’ll ask older people about the changes that have occurred in their lives as a result of the project, over time.


    There is a risk that we won’t be able to recruit the number of volunteers we hope to. We’ve addressed this risk by investing in local teams, so that we have the capacity to recruit, train and support volunteers to a really high standard. We’ve also worked hard to make sure we are a good organisation for volunteers to be part of – last year we were awarded Investors in Volunteers status.


    Donors to this project will receive 6 and 12 month reports, showing how we are progressing towards our targets. The reports will include case studies from volunteers and older people, to show the difference the project is making to people’s lives.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £25,000 Local volunteer managers Local volunteer managers, recruiting and training volunteers in their communities
      £2,000 Project promotion Promoting volunteering opportunities
      £8,000 Getting new volunteers started Getting new volunteers started, including checks, references and ID badges
      £5,000 Volunteer training Training for new volunteers, including training materials and induction

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Garfield Weston Foundation £20,000 Conditional
  • Background


    We will recruit and train Good Neighbours volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales.


    Older people – the volunteers will help them to live safely and independently and stay connected to their communities. As a result, we expect older people to feel:
    - Less isolated
    - Safer, knowing they have someone to rely on
    - More connected to their community and more able to get out and about

    Volunteers will also benefit – our existing volunteers tell us they feel good about making a positive contribution to their neighbourhoods and enjoy making new friends through their volunteering.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Royal Voluntary Service has 75 years experience in recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to make a difference in their communities.

    We help 100,000 older people across Great Britain, providing services such as Meals on Wheels, Good Neighbours, Lunch Clubs and community transport. We also support older people in hospital and help them when they return home from hospital.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Locality Managers

    Our 67 Locality Managers across Great Britain recruit, train and support volunteers to help older people in their local communities.