‘Real Neighbours’ – Making a Difference

Volunteering is something that is truly at the heart of the Wythenshawe community.

In response to the Covid19 Pandemic, ‘Real Neighbours’ Volunteers created a telephone buddying scheme to help reduce loneliness, isolation and alienation during the lockdown by ensuring they ‘check in’ with participants each week.

So far, the programme has supported over 35 residents with 27 volunteers taking part. Some of these volunteers have joined from existing Real Neighbours groups in the area while newer volunteers have been able to offer a helping hand from across Greater Manchester and even further afield.

Volunteers have made over 650 calls to those who are feeling lonely and isolated in the area, which can range from just having a chat to supporting and referring them to other services if required.

Volunteering Administrator at WCHG, Daniel Williams said, ‘I’m really happy to be involved in the buddying scheme as it’s made a great difference to the lives of many people. In quite a few cases, we’ve seen volunteers and participants develop genuine friendships which I’m sure will outlast this pandemic. The volunteers have been fantastic, I can’t praise them enough! While we’ve had long standing Real Neighbours volunteers helping out with the project, I’m really pleased with the volume of interest we have had from new people wanting to volunteer from the wider Manchester community and even beyond.”

One volunteer involved in the project said, “Doing this, not matter how small it is, I feel like I’m making a contribution.” while another commented, “We talk about all sorts of things from our lives and we have a right laugh.”

One organisation who made a referral to the scheme, only had positive things to say “Thanks for your support with this matter. It is making a difference to our clients.”

If you would like to find out more about Wythenshawe Real Neighbours or get involved in the scheme contact Daniel Williams at Daniel.Williams@wchg.org.uk

You can check out this short film about some of the different Volunteering Projects that have been happening during the Covid19 Pandemic which features the buddying scheme - https://t.co/KKnY2dWvCw?amp=1