The Oving Parish Council has been concerned for some time about the elderly, disabled or infirm in our parish and has therefore approved a Community Watch Scheme. I have been appointed as the Coordinator and will run the scheme as a registered charity with the help of a small committee including a representative of the Parish Council.

As part of the aim to encourage people in the community to assist each other in a neighbourly way and make our parish a better place to live in, a free service is proposed. It is open to everyone who lives in the parish and, for example, we shall be able to provide transportation to medical or hospital appointments, confidential assistance in accessing the inevitably complex forms to claim benefits or services to which you may be entitled or even doing the shopping during periods of inclement weather. The scheme will not only be available for the elderly or disabled, but could be of assistance to anyone who is ill, recovering from an operation or needs support.

Each house in the parish will receive a card listing brief descriptions of what we hope to provide and giving the mobile telephone number to contact. It is hoped that all residents will keep this card to hand by their telephone.

Success will depend on being able to call on one of a team of about 25 volunteers who, depending on their availability, would be able to provide the support offered. Expenses can be reimbursed from donations or grants available to encourage community projects of this kind. Please note that we are unable to pay those who help for their time.

The design of the scheme is at an early stage and there will be an open discussion meeting on Thursday12th April in the Committee Room at the Oving Jubilee Hall starting at 7.15pm. We are looking for your ideas and hope to recruit committee members and the volunteers prepared to help in various ways and make it work. Lend a helping hand when you can!

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to help and have any specific experience that might be useful.

 Liz Smith

Highkettle Barn, Colworth

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