Neighbourforce Exists to Build and Maintain Community Resilience

A neighbourhood's resilience is its ability to cope with emergency situations and crises through prevention, response, and recovery. That's why crisis response and recovery, and crisis prevention and preparation are key activities. However, truly resilient communities also have backup for those who are relied upon, so that the most vulnerable are never unsupported, and those individuals in personal crisis are helped back on their feet.

Crisis Prevention and Preparation

Neighbourforce groups organise monthly team-building community events, designed to bring volunteers together to learn or practise skills, work as a team, and contribute to the community. Communities where volunteers work together regularly are more likely to respond to a crisis effectively. Monthly events include community work with other local organisations, crisis prevention work (eg flood prevention), skills training, and social events.

Crisis Response and Recovery

Neighbourforce maintains and builds a long list of volunteers, with their skills and preferences. This means in a crisis - such as severely adverse weather, floods or pandemics - these volunteers can be quickly called upon to act either together or separately, in the interests of the community. Neighbourforce volunteers can work with and cooperate with utilities, emergency services and health services in a crisis. Neighbourforce also maintains volunteer leaders who self-train regularly as a small group to enable them to co-ordinate volunteers in a crisis, lead volunteers 'on the ground', and liaise with the authorities.

Back-up Support to Regular Helpers

Neighbourforce groups run a helpline to provide back-up support to volunteers who already regularly help neighbours. Such regular helpers can register with Neighbourforce and ask for help when they go on holiday, or are sick, or are otherwise unable to provide the help to neighbours that they normally provide. This encourages more to become regular helpers, because they know there is back-up available if they need it.

A Support Helpline for Those Needing Temporary Help

Neighbourforce groups provide temporary help directly to individuals in the community who need temporary assistance with errands, groceries, prescriptions, dog walking, gardening and other tasks, where there is no other help available. This includes families in temporary crisis, individuals who are sick or temporarily immobile, or those recently bereaved. Where alternative solutions do exist, Neighbourforce volunteers may signpost individuals to those alternatives rather than delivering assistance directly.