Harkstead and Lower Holbrook Good Neighbour scheme

A helping hand from volunteers in your community.

Free except for lifts and for all of us to use when needed. How can we help you?

  • Give you a lift ( 45p a mile)
  • Collect prescriptions
  • Help in writing a letter
  • Changing a light bulb
  • Befriending service
  • Help in bad weather
  • Help with shopping
  • Pet care if indisposed
  • Help you fill in a form
  • Putting bins out if away
  • Sharing information
  • House watching while away

We are neighbours who are happy to be asked and to help if we can. All our volunteers have been reference and DBS checked.

Download Leaflet

Peninsula Good Neighbour Schemes

Please contact the Good Neighbour Scheme for your village:

  • Chelmondistion and Pin Mill Good Neighbour Scheme 780408 (Secretary Mike Castle)
  • Harkstead and Lower Holbrook Good Neighbour Scheme 328326
  • Shotley and Erwarton Good Neighbour Scheme
  • Stutton Support Network: 327753

New Phone Number

From August 1st 2014 the number is changing to 328326. The number has changed but the service remains the same. All our 39 volunteers live in our community and have been reference and DBS checked. Do call us if you think we might be able to assist you in some way: 328326 is the number to call. The phone is held in rotation by one of the volunteers.

If you think the Good Neighbour Scheme can be of assistance, 328326 is the number to ring.

Information Leaflets

To download and print. Updated May 2012

AGM 2014

Our AGM was held on 12 May as part of the Annual Parish meeting.

Our chairman, reported on another busy year with 136 calls on our volunteers, ranging from transport and shopping to help in the home and pet care . The scheme was also involved in village events including helping the Parish Council with emergency planning The majority of transport was to hospital and surgery. This often involved staying with someone, giving company, which could not be replaced by taxis or hospital transport. Shopping had been a life line to some people, when they could not get to shops. The people using the scheme were not just people who were frail or older, but also younger people who for example may have had an injury which has temporarily stopped them from driving.

Information: the GNS continued to provide a village information service through its Email group, the 'village grapevine', including police and trading standards alerts and local information. Others were invited to join the Email group, it was not only for volunteers.

Volunteers: 5 new volunteers had joined the scheme, bringing the number of volunteers up to 40, some 12% of the population of our 2 villages. We could never have too many volunteers, as sometimes few were available at any particular time.

Funding: thanks were given to Holbrook and Harkstead Parish Councils for their continuing support for the scheme which benefited the whole village.

Constitution changes: Two changes to the constitution were agreed:

  1. To add to the stated aims of the Good Neighbour Scheme the following clause: 'to continue to offer support and friendship when people move to Oak house or other local care homes'.
  2. To replace the existing clause 'an officer shall serve for a maximum term of three years, but in exceptional circumstances may be considered for re-election if willing' with the following clause 'officer posts will be reviewed every 3 years'.

All our 40 volunteers live in our community and have been reference and DBS checked. Do call us if you think we might be able to assist you in some way: 328326 is the number to call. The phone is held in rotation by one of the volunteers.

Click here to view the agenda of the 2014 AGM held on 12 May

Update June 2012

Just a reminder about ICE In Case of Emergency numbers. The Good Neighbour Scheme is now offering a service for people to register contact numbers (family and friends) with the scheme. These contact details would be kept confidential and held only in case it is urgently needed to contact a relative or friend.

If you would like to do this, please contact us with details on 328326 or by Email: harkstead-lowerholbrookgns@hotmail.co.uk

Update May 2012


Was held on 14 May in conjunction with other AGMs at the Annual Parish meeting. The Chairman's report highlighted the extent to which the scheme was fulfilling a need: over 75 instances of help had been given last year. This year alone over 35 calls had been made. The largest help had again been with transport, especially to surgeries and hospital. As before there had been help with shopping, pet care, assistance in the home, loan of items and regular help with village activities, including the farmers market and village auction.

The statistics did not take account of the scheme's routine ongoing support in the community, which, once initiated, was continuing on a regular basis (including shopping, visiting, dog walking).

Expanding role

The scheme had expanded its role to include help with minor computing problems and with a new village information service, passing information from police and trading standards to volunteers and anyone else who would like to be included (please give us your contact details if you would like to be included on these).


The GNS is offering a new service for people to register contact numbers (family, friends) in case of emergency (ICE). It is not only for situations where people are unwell, but also if people need to urgently contact them while they are away. On mobile phones it is recommended that such contact numbers are entered into the address book under ICE. The Good Neighbour Scheme would be doing the same. These contact details would be kept confidential and held only in case it is urgently needed to contact someone.

PCSO Contact Card

May 2012

PCSO Contact Card

Update March 2012

Information from police and consumer protection

The Good Neighbour scheme is expanding its role to that of a contact point for information. Up to now this has mainly been from the 'police direct' about crime in the area. However we are now linked to a Suffolk Trading standards community initiative by which we are given details of scams and breaches of consumer legislation in the County. This covers anything from used cars, door to door salesmen, to scams on the computer. Forewarned, we may be able to protect ourselves better against malpractice.

At the moment we are passing this information on to our 38 volunteers, who can then pass this on to others in the community. However, if anyone else would like to be forwarded this information directly please give your contact details to our secretary, Jane Goyder.


We still have copies of the history articles written by Evie Rayson on Harkstead and Norman Quantrill on Lower Holbrook. Please contact Jane Goyder if you would like a copy.


We are grateful that we are again being helped in funding by Holbrook and Harkstead Parish Councils for the next year.

If you think the Good Neighbour Scheme may be able to help with something, whether lifts to the hospital or surgery, or help with pet care, shopping, or some task where another pair of hands would help 328326 is the number to ring.

Update December 2010

It is now a year since the scheme began and as this anniversary approaches, we will be reaching a landmark 100 calls on our services. These include lifts and accompanying people to surgery and hospital appointments, pet care, shopping, collecting prescriptions, help with village events, company, letter and form writing, information on services and sharing of computer problems.

We are grateful for the financial support given to us in this first year by the Suffolk Foundation, Holbrook Parish Council, Harkstead Parish Council, Ipswich and Peterborough building society, and Suffolk County Council through our Councillor David Wood. We are also grateful to Suffolk ACRE for their support through out.

On 16th December we are meeting in the Bakers Arms, Harkstead, to celebrate and sing a few carols at 7.30 pm. Do join us! The number of volunteers in the scheme is now 40, spread across both Harkstead and Lower Holbrook. Each volunteer has indicated which of a range of tasks they would be happy to be asked for help with. If you have occasion to want assistance with something, even if it's only another pair of hands, 328326 is the number to ring.

Scheme Details

328326 is the number to ring if you need a helping hand.

lt may be that you are away and need pet care, have difficulty picking up some shopping or a prescription, getting to the station when going on holiday or just need a helping hand. With bad weather, many of us used it to phone in lists for shopping which volunteers with 4 wheel drives were able to collect.

Examples of the way the scheme can be used are as follows:

  • help in bad weather and emergencies (e.g shopping, help with heat and cooking)
  • errands: collecting prescriptions, pensions and shopping
  • garden: help with picking and sharing produce; jobs where another pair of hands would be helpful (eg pruning)
  • help in the house: e.g. moving furniture, preparing emergency meals or snacks, stacking logs
  • help with pet care (may be feeding the cat, if away, or walking the dog if we are ill)
  • information on services and charities
  • transport: for example to clinic, hospital or Doctors' appointments, or to catch a train, bus or even further afield by agreement.
  • help with writing: letters and filling in forms
  • short term parking arrangements whilst you have builders in.

Nearly 40 volunteers in the community have volunteered to help, all have been CRB and reference checked. The scheme is for all to use, volunteers as well. lt‘s also potentially an environmentally friendly scheme: it could be used to share journeys, tasks and surplus produce.

We can all use this scheme so please do.

Try it and see! Ring 328326

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