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Villagers hope to recruit an army of neighbourly volunteers
VILLAGERS in Eynsham hope to gather an army of good neighbour volunteers.
Residents launched their Good Neighbourhood Scheme at the village show on Saturday.
The group, which organises free help for the elderly and disabled, is calling for more volunteers and those who need a helping hand to come forward.
Volunteer co-ordinator June Middleton came up with the idea of bringing the scheme to the village.
The 71-year-old High Street resident said: “Our village is very friendly but there are pockets of lonely people and people who need help for various reasons.”
And she urged anyone in need to get in touch, adding: “We want people to feel like they can ask for help.”
Tasks for the volunteers could include shopping, gardening, dog walking, collecting prescriptions and library books, and household repairs. Helpers could also be asked to read to the blind, write letters and fill out forms.
Group chairman Clive Stone, who has survived 31 brain tumours and campaigns on behalf of cancer sufferers, hopes people with spare time will get involved with the “rewarding” work.
He said: “Personally I have got a lot of satisfaction from helping others and if you have time on your hands it is marvellous thing to get involved in.
“The more the merrier.”
The 65-year-old said it was also a good chance to show Eynsham’s community spirit, adding: “It is a good village for that anyway but we can make it even better.”
PCSO Helen Keen, of the village neighbourhood police team, welcomed the scheme as a “good example of community spirit”.
She said: “Too many people shut the front doors and don’t engage like they used to. “This is going back to the older community ways when everybody used to help everybody.
“Relying on your neighbours is very important, especially for the elderly and infirm and especially in a rural community where they don’t always have the services like bigger towns and cities have.”
The group was launched at the Eynsham Village Show at the community hall in Back Lane. Chairman Mr Stone made a speech and entertainment came from morris dancers and folk singers.
Leaflets about the scheme were also handed out at the show.
To get help or involved, call 07443 564516.
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