This measure looks at the number of people the Good Neighbour/Village Care Schemes support. Customers can receive support from volunteers who act as a ‘good neighbour’, helping to provide a safety net for vulnerable adults in the local village/town they support. The schemes help to reduce feelings of isolation and exclusion. In December 2015, 726 people were being supported by the schemes. This had steadily risen to 819 by March 2017.
There has been an increase of 34 new customers from June to September 2017. A new group has been established in Stondon. Areas that have seen a noticeable rise in the number of customers supported have tended to be where newer schemes have been introduced. The Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity continues to advertise the Good Neighbour Schemes to encourage participation while the Good Neighbour/Village Care schemes are actively working together to attract potential customers and volunteers.