Town’s good neighbours mark milestone with cream tea

Jean Elliot, of North Walsham, was among the people supported by the North Walsham Good Neighbours w

Jean Elliot, of North Walsham, was among the people supported by the North Walsham Good Neighbours who got a cream tea to mark their 5th aniversary.Picture: Supplied by North Walsham Good Neighbours - Credit: Archant

A volunteer group which helps people around North Walsham had to think on its feet to find a way to mark its fifth anniversary.

The North Walsham Good Neighbours, who help people with everything from weekly shopping to changing light bulbs, wanted to find a way to celebrate despite government restrictions around the coronavirus.

As they could not gather in one place, cream teas from the Norfolk Cake House were delivered to more than 100 people they support.

Richard Barker, group chairman, said: “We could not miss celebrating this important anniversary with those who are the lifeblood of the scheme. “Since we began in September 2015 our volunteers have done thousands of jobs for hundreds of neighbours in the town.

“During the Covid crisis we have focused on supporting those sheltering, or in self-isolation, with shopping, collecting medicines, dog walking and DIY type jobs around the home and gardens.

“We have set up rotas to maintain regular telephone contact with isolated and anxious neighbours and write to lonely residents in local care homes.

“Our volunteers have been brilliant, with many new volunteers coming forward to offer help, adding to the time, energy and expertise provided by our existing group. We have worked closely with local partners, sign-posting neighbours to them where appropriate. It has brought the community together in an incredibly special way.”

Most Read

Jean Elliot, a pensioner who lives alone in North Walsham, is among those who have been helped by the Good Neighbours.

“They have helped me a considerable amount and I cannot thank them enough.

Whoever thought the idea up deserves to get a medal. For somebody like me who is on their own and isn’t able to do everything around the house, it’s amazing.

“I hope and pray they go on because it’s such a good thing that they are doing.”

Mrs Elliot said Good Neighbours volunteers had helped fix her curtain rail after it fell down, replace a knob on the bathroom door and also helped get her vacuum cleaner going.

Anyone who needs some support from the scheme or would like to join the volunteer team can call 01692 558321 or e-mail