Wednesday 26 August 2015

KGNS Closes After Three Years Of Helping Its Neighbours


Below is the press release that we have submitted for the September 2015 edition of Kesgrave News:


It is with considerable sadness that we regret to announce the winding up of the Kesgrave Good Neighbour Scheme. As a group of twenty or so founding volunteers, we came together in 2012 under the guidance of Suffolk Acre and Suffolk County Council, after a substantial amount of research and a series of meetings with prominent local individuals and groups. Our aim was to fill what we perceived to be a community gap, providing occasional help to neighbours with a variety of tasks, excluding lifts which were to be referred to the Kesgrave and District Help Centre. Shortly after our launch we were asked to deal with all requests for lifts ourselves. Whilst there is clearly a considerable demand for lifts, for example to medical appointments, and although we have subsequently recruited more driver volunteers as we have evolved, we have not been able to reconcile the increasing demand for lifts with our original aims, the demand for help in other areas and with the whole range of skills and time available from our volunteer team.

We have met some lovely neighbours along the way and would like to thank all of those who have used the scheme for trusting us to help them and for brightening up our days. We are also very lucky to have made some good friends amongst our fellow volunteers and neighbours and to have gained a much greater insight into how our community works. Many thanks to all our volunteers for giving their support and time so freely and generously.

We hope that perhaps a “purpose built” and “open to all” community transport scheme for Kesgrave residents may be a possibility in the future, albeit outside the scope of our scheme. We also hope that perhaps Kesgrave and District Help Centre may take this opportunity publicly to clarify what transport/lift service they are currently able to offer Kesgrave residents.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Love Thy Neighbour Week


Today we helped celebrate Love Thy Neighbour Week by talking to the lovely Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk. Mark does so much for community spirit and neighbourliness that it’s always a pleasure to talk to him. Like us he yearns for the time when we did not need a scheme to help us be good neighbours!

Our scheme goes from strength to strength thanks to our able volunteers, most of whom have been with us since we started. The more volunteers we have the more proactive we can be so, even if you only have an hour to spare every month or so, think about signing up with us and bring a smile to a neighbour’s face. It will give you a buzz too.


And if you want to know more about Love Thy Neighbour Week try this link -

Thursday 10 April 2014

Two of our volunteers at Kesgrave Library during a "meet your neighbours and local groups" session. A great opportunity to chat to neighbours, add some miles on the exercise bike challenge (hard work!) and find out a bit more about Suffolk Family Carers and the Alzheimer's Society.

Kesgrave Market January 2014

Here we are at Kesgrave Market in January 2014. A very welcome chance to meet some more neighbours, recruit some more volunteers and find some great local produce and crafts.

Monday 22 July 2013

Volunteers and Neighbours Lunch – July 2013


In this, our first year, the calendar has been filled with a series of “firsts”! At our last volunteer’s meeting in April, Dr Dan Poulter, MP, came along to talk to us and this time we thought it would be good to invite to lunch, a few of the neighbours we have met. We also invited Gavin Hodge from Age UK Suffolk and Garry Simmonds from the Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project. Gavin gave a round up of some of the help his organisation can provide for our community and signed up all our guests to receive the regular Talkabout magazine as well as signing up one guest as a volunteer for telephone befriending. In fact it was an article in the Talkabout magazine on Food ‘n Friends clubs that inspired us to hold the lunch so that we could help to spread the word.

Garry, pictured above, with some of our volunteers, gave a short introduction to just some of the things the Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project does and told everyone to ask Jane, who has been volunteering with them for a few years, if they needed to know anything more! He then presented Kesgrave Good Neighbour Scheme with a marvellous Soup Tureen that we can use for events when the weather gets a bit cooler. These soup tureens were given to the Rural Coffee Caravan Project by the Warm Homes Healthy People Scheme and put to good use during their winter road shows. We invited representatives of the scheme to come to our January volunteers’ meeting, to tell us all about it, and Kesgrave Market kindly gave them a stand at the monthly market where they were able to help a number of Kesgrave residents.

Many thanks to both Garry and Gavin for sparing the time to come and have lunch with us and for all their help, information and support.

A big thanks too, to all our guests, for so willingly accepting our invitation and for being such delightful company. It was also a great opportunity to get some more feedback on how we were doing and what else we should be doing!

The biggest thanks of all, though, goes to all the volunteers involved for making it such a happy and smooth running event, for providing the components of such a delicious lunch, for putting it all together and clearing up afterwards, and for picking up and returning our guests. It really was a case of many hands making light work and, in the sultry heat of a baking hot day,and given all there was to do, staying calm, cool and collected. Best of all we had lots of fun too!


Wednesday 12 June 2013

Kesgrave Monthly Market

As regular readers will know, we’re great fans of Kesgrave Monthly Market and the weekly Country Market. We feel we’re lucky to have such a facility and try and support it where we can, including organising our last volunteers meeting, with special guest Dr Dan Poulter, MP, so that he could visit it first (pictured).
Link to Kesgrave Monthly Market  for more information.
Thanks to Keith Beecroft for today’s photo.

KGNS Team Up With The Police Cadets


One of the areas we can help with is a “one off” garden tidy up – normally front gardens that might pose a security risk through giving too much cover to unwanted potential visitors, or occasionally back gardens that pose safety or other problems.

We're delighted to announce that, following on from our July meeting and an idea put forward by PCSO 3194 Mike Sarbutts of the Kesgrave and District Safer Neighbourhood Team, the Police Cadets have offered to assist us with these kind of projects.

We’ll need as much notice as you can give us and will generally aim to slot this into Thursday evenings or weekends. So if your garden has been overwhelming you for a while, give us a call and we’ll do our best to help.