One good turn leads to another as good neighbours get cash from Whittington Co-op

A group of villagers who act as good neighbours to the elderly and other people in need have been given a big helping hand themselves – a £780 cheque to boost their voluntary work.

The money, presented to Whittington and Fisherwick Good Neighbour Scheme, was raised by shoppers at the local Co-op convenience store donating their dividends to the good cause.

Members of Whittington and Fisherwick Good Neighbour Scheme receive Community Dividend Fund cheque at Whittington Co-op. Giant cheque is in trolley.

Whittington Co-op manager Hayley Gilbert and sales assistant Helen Abbott (centre) deliver the bumper cheque to Whittington and Fisherwick Good Neighbour Scheme volunteers (l-r) Penny Murcott, Frank Knight and chairman Terry Tricker, all wearing identity cards. Looking on are (l-r) Gordon Campkin, Faith Perry and Margaret Ballinger, who regularly use the service.

The scheme was set up three years ago and now has around 50 volunteers, including a retired RAF group captain, three retired doctors and two headmasters.

Members perform a variety of tasks around the home, as well as providing transport to the hospital and shops. They also collect prescriptions, take people to social functions and offer friendship to the lonely.

Since the closure of the post office in Whittington the volunteers have been taking older residents to Lichfield to collect their pensions too.

Chairman Terry Tricker said they were amazed by the size of the cheque from Tamworth Co-operative Society’s Community Dividend Fund.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Co-op and their customers who have been very supportive of the scheme and are good neighbours to us too. We’re hoping to expand our services further by offering occasional, subsidised lunches. We also have insurance and telephone bills to pay, so this couldn’t have come at a better time for us.”

Faith Perry, 81, a retired civil servant, is one of many residents who rely on the Good Neighbour scheme. She uses it to get to hospital, dental and opticians’ appointments.

She said: “I don’t know what I’d do without it because my family live away and can’t help me. The volunteers even assisted me with my computer and mended my gate when it blew over in a gale. They are marvellous and I would find life very difficult without them.”

Whittington Co-op store manager Hayley Gilbert said: “We had an amazing response from our shoppers because they are well aware of the wonderful work these volunteers do. Our Community Dividend Fund raises thousands of pounds each year for important organisations like this one.”