IP3 Good Neighbours
Project Category: Informal community group
The IP3 Ipswich Good Neighbour Scheme (now renamed IP3 Good Neighbours) was set up initially as a Facebook Group during the first Covid shutdown of 2020
Following the shutdown, it was felt that there was a need for an organisation in the area going forward and so a small group got together to form the IP3 Ipswich Good Neighbour Scheme. The scheme is part of Community Action Suffolk Good Neighbour Network and is run by a committee of 9 people which includes a Chair, Secretary and a treasurer. The Scheme covers the IP3 postcode area of Ipswich, which is broadly the political wards of Holywells, Gainsborough and Priory Heath with a couple of other small areas. Part of Broke Hall is shared with the Rushmere Good Neighbour Scheme.
The scheme has its own Facebook group (numbering approx. 950 people) and page (about 550 followers) and a website www.ip3ipswichgns.com and there are about 80 people signed up to receive update from this
We have a constitution, GDPR and data protection policy, safeguarding policy and other relevant policies. The scheme has a bank account with Nat-West Bank with initial funding being provided by Suffolk Community Foundation, Neighbourly and the National Lottery.
Numbers of requests have reduced following the return from the first lockdown and as people build up some other support networks for that type of need and so we have looked to develop deeper in the community working alongside the residents and making the area a better place to live
It is off the back of this that we have produced a draft plan moving forward.
The committee has already had initial discussions and intend to work towards the Good Neighbour Scheme becoming a Charity and late 2021 / early 2022 is a realistic date for this. Also in the longer term plan we intend to employ a worker in the area starting as part time but eventually having one full time equivalent
The scheme obtained good initial funding and because of the drop off in job requests and the continued presence of Covid meaning some activities have not been possible to start has had a healthy balance. However, as the vaccine helps society get back to normal, we will be able to operate more activities, and this will involve spending. We will need to look at fundraising and making funding applications. Constituting as a Charity will enable more opportunities for funding applications to be made.
SPREADING THE WORD
It has become clear to us and to similar groups that whilst we know there are people who need help and support, they will not always come forward for help. We therefore do need to continue getting the word out.
We started off a leaflet drop to a large part of the area. Once more activities start we will produce a simple brochure which will be delivered. We will also look for places where we can get A3 or A4 posters displayed. We will maximise our use of social media, possibly looking for a specific Social Media Volunteer to lead on the Facebook pages and perhaps set up Twitter and Instagram. We will look for opportunities to get exposure in the local press or on local radio and TV. As restrictions relax, we also want to look to build up links with other groups following from those outlined in the next section.
We have already formed links with several organisations and have met with Gainsborough Library and the Salvation Army Priory where we have worked to start a pop up shop. We have also linked with Helen Forbes who runs a youth group at Nansen road Baptist Church and with Carol Mansell at All Hallows Church in Ipswich where we will start a coffee drop in with support activities such as debt and employment advice once they can reopen their hall. We also contacted Ipswich Wombles and have started our monthly litterpicks in partnership with them as the IP3 wombles
Once restrictions start to relax there should be a number of other opportunities to build links including other churches, Schools, Scout and Guide Groups, Rotary Clubs, Parks, Libraries and many more either to work together on projects or to support them or vice versa
We have a number of volunteers registered although are looking to get more as we start more activities.
All Volunteers are DBS’ d and receive copies of various documents. This includes a Safeguarding presentation produced by our Safeguarding officer which all volunteers view.
We also want to look at opportunities for training both for volunteers and for the committee. This may include sessions run by Community Action Suffolk, and other organisations and specific sessions run internally
Some specific training in Befriending both by telephone and in person will be shortly organised which will be helpful for volunteers working in these areas.
It has been important all the way through that volunteers are protected in what they do although the majority of jobs we got in the early days were to help people who were isolating mainly due to age or pre-existing health conditions,
As things open up, we will take great care to ensure all what we do is Covid Secure. In the initial stages, whilst the vaccine is still being rolled out, we will be able to, and should be starting to look at other activities but the risk is still there so will pay close attention to PPE, Social Distancing and Hand washing / Sanitation
The following are details of activities we may want to look at introducing. This is not exhaustive and there may be other things we can do. As our volunteer base grows together with our visibility in IP3, the resources will become available to do more. Opportunities to run activities are likely also to come through our links with other organisations
Mapping Services in the Area – finding out what is available so we can refer other people to them and link with them
Pop Up Shop – where people pay £2 for a bag of provisions. In partnership with with the Salvation Army and using food from Fareshare we have started this on a Thursday morning and are getting 35-40 people through each week.
Litterpicks – We have formed the IP3 Wombles linking under the umbrella of Ipswich Wombles.
Monthly Walks – enabling people to socialise and get fit at the same time
IT Skills – running sessions, particularly for the elderly in using a computer etc
Employment Support – linking with other originations to give people the skills and confidence to apply for jobs and obtain employment
Focus on Ethnic Groups – looking at the different ethnic groups we have within IP3 and then providing structured activity and sessions to assist them with the issues that matter to them
Coffee Mornings – Running a coffee morning sat venues in IP3 to enable people to socialise and to have a hot drink and cake becoming a community hub
Meet up Mondays – these are similar to the coffee mornings; however, they are under a specific umbrella connected to The Rural Coffee Caravan and they use pubs or cafes as the hub for the meet up therefore supporting them at the same time. They are classed as support groups but subject to a venue being willing we could commence these even if under current restrictions
Play Streets – this is another organised initiative Street Play – Play England There is a Suffolk organisation for this and a number of the quieter IP3 streets would be ideal to get children out playing together
Grant Funding Pot – through fundraising and applying for grants ourselves, we will build up a pot where we can assist people in need or people with small sub projects to enhance community engagement
Big Lunch 2021- Assuming this happens in 2021 (it was cancelled in 2020) encouraging people to close off their streets and eat and have fun together
Provision of Laptops / Internet Funding – Despite Government advices we have established through Hope Churches Make Lunch project that there are still families who do not have internet facilities and /or laptop at home. Through seeking funding, we could look to provide these for families within the IP3 area
Mental Health Support – This is going to be a big area for society coming out of the pandemic so we have the opportunity to look for ways we can support people with this
Youth and Children’s activities
We are also looking for a space to rent where we can store things, have office space and eventually run some events and we are in discussions in regard to a Community Centre which is being reopened.
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