Our aim is to be a dependable good neighbour to any St Albans City and District resident who needs help, particularly older people, who may be unwell, isolated, have special needs or may be dealing with a difficult situation and would benefit from our assistance.
We aim to provide help to anyone who needs our support, regardless of their age, ethnicity, background, or personal circumstances. We can help with lifts to medical or social appointments, shopping, odd jobs in the home or garden, and befriending for those who are lonely.
We are a trusted local charity, run entirely by local volunteers. Our helpline is open from 9am - 1pm every day of the year, including weekends, bank holidays and Christmas Day, with a "real" volunteer taking your call!
What we do
We support the local community of St Albans City and District by helping residents with lifts to medical or social appointments, shopping, odd jobs in the home or garden, and befriending those who are lonely.
We hold social events for volunteers, including coffee mornings and tea parties, so they can meet one another and share their volunteering experiences. Some of these events provide a good opportunity for informal training and discussions. We also communicate with volunteers regularly by way of newsletters.
We issue an Annual Report and all volunteers are invited to our Annual General Meeting, which is followed by a social event. Due to the global pandemic, our AGM in November 2020 was held virtually, but details of the meeting and annual report can be downloaded here.
We currently have about 170 volunteers, all of whom bring their individual experience, talents and enthusiasm. We are keen to receive applications from all sections of the community, to help us achieve a diverse volunteer workforce.
Some of our volunteers take on additional responsibilities including:
Section Leaders/Coordinators for new volunteers and our helpline, transport, befriending and practical help volunteers
St Albans Good Neighbour Scheme Trustees:
There are six Trustees, who develop our high standards of governance and help us make the best use of our people and resources.
Chair of Trustees: Jane Burstow
Company Secretary: Dana Cox
We welcome volunteer applications from adults of all backgrounds.
Our Volunteer Coordinator manages the application process and will be in contact once an application form is received.
We are delighted to recruit trustees as vacancies arise.
We are currently seeking to recruit new trustees to our Board; you can find out more here.
Governance and compliance
St Albans Good Neighbour Scheme is a charity registered under the Charities Act: Charity No. 1074638. It is also a company limited by guarantee: Company No. 3675149. The registered office is at 47 Woodland Drive, St Albans AL4 0EL.
Our Trustees follow the Charity Governance Code, aiming to ensure high standards of governance, including compliance with all relevant legislation and regulations.
Our Trustees and coordinators access guidance and support from organisations including the Community Transport Association (CTA), Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) and Communities 1st, which is a partner of Community Help Hertfordshire.
We have procedures in place to comply fully with the UK General Data Protection Regulations and our Privacy Notice can be read here. If you want to make a request concerning any of your personal data that we hold, please call our helpline on 01727 830713. Our Privacy Notice contains details of how to contact the Information Commissioner's Office if you have a complaint about the way we have handled your data.
For many of our volunteer roles (including transport, shopping and befriending) an enhanced DBS check is required, and the Scheme helps to arrange this and covers the costs involved. As required by law, we have a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders and on the storage of DBS information about our volunteers.
Mission, vision and values
To be a dependable good neighbour to any St Albans resident in need, providing support, quickly and informally.
To reach into our community, seeking out people in need, regardless of background or personal circumstances, to connect them with good neighbours, so we can support as many residents as possible in leading fulfilling, independent lives.
As a trusted community charity, we provide “organised kindness” with:
Respect - valuing diversity, equality, inclusion, fairness and consideration, and respecting our natural environment
Integrity - maintaining strong moral principles and high standards of welfare, including health and safety, always in line with our procedures and policies
Teamwork - recognising and valuing the vital contribution of our volunteers and encouraging a culture of working together with support.
St Albans Good Neighbour Scheme was launched on 16 October 1980 with 80 enthusiastic volunteers all hoping to make a positive contribution to their local community.
It had been three years in the planning, with the original impetus coming from the St Albans Council of Churches, who wanted to set up a local community initiative. Various ideas were proposed, resulting in a "good neighbour" telephone helpline being set up in 1979. Around the same time, the government launched a national campaign supported by Volunteer Centre UK, encouraging a network of local schemes across the country. This provided the final push to launch the St Albans Good Neighbour Scheme, which has continued to evolve over the past 40 years to meet the community's needs.
Today we are a busy, vibrant organisation with over 170 volunteers, all of whom are passionate about serving their local community with 'organised kindness'.