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Livewell Southend

Good Neighbours

Good neighbours logo

A Good Neighbour is someone who looks out for those living near to them. They might offer to help them

  • collect some shopping
  • pick up their prescription
  • walk their dog
  • have a friendly chat with them

This is a page dedicated to Good Neighbours and Southend's residents. Please bear with us while we build this section of the website.

Take a look at the links on the right for useful information.

Guidance and Information for Southend Good Neighbours

Good Neighbours Logo

Would you like to be a “Good Neighbour”? Want to support vulnerable residents in your community?

We know that people who become Good Neighbours enjoy getting to know the people living near them. It makes them feel safer and happier to know they have people they can call on to help. As a Good Neighbour you may be the first person reaching out to others on your street. When more people join, it becomes much more of a community group and everyone looks after each other.

Keeping in contact with neighbours is so important. There is a growing sense of community in Southend. Even though social distancing and self-isolation is essential, there are ways of connecting with your local community as a Good Neighbour.

If you set up your own Good Neighbours group, don’t feel that all of the neighbourhood help would fall to you alone. We know that once you start, others will follow. You can get support by a local organisation. They can help with any extra information or guidance you may need.

It could feel overwhelming to start if you live on a long road or large block of flats. If it helps, just start with your closest neighbours. You could start by leafleting houses to the left, right and opposite your home. Remember many people won’t need or want anything. They might just like being in touch with their fellow neighbours. Some people like to know someone is there if they ever need them.

This guidance pack will give you:

  • Ideas for how to keep in touch with your neighbours.
  • Advice on what to do if you’re concerned
  • Information on Data Protection

If you are a Good Neighbour and don’t need any support that’s great! We know that some people set up their own group without any help.

Go to the Good Neighbours webpage on the ‘Your Say Southend’ website to get involved;

  • ask questions

  • chat with other local Good Neighbours

  • share your stories

We’d love to hear how you’re getting on!

Keeping in touch with neighbours

Keeping in contact with neighbours, is a key part of being a Good Neighbour. In this guide we look at ways of keeping in touch.

With the current situation and social distancing, having a face to face conversation is hard. If you remember the 2 metre rule you can still chat with your neighbours.

Using social media

Using social media can make communicating with others easy. Here are a few points to consider when deciding to use social media, and how to make it work for you.

Who lives in your street? Around half of people over the age of 55 now have a social media account, and most people below 55 do. Find out who isn’t online so you can keep them up-to-date in other ways.

Create a WhatsApp group with neighbours’ phone numbers

It’s an easy way to message everyone instantly. Everyone can see if anyone needs help or support. Everyone in your street who has WhatsApp can be kept in the loop.

To create a WhatsApp group you need to download the app on your phone. Then select New Group, then add the relevant neighbours.

An example WhatsApp message to send to neighbours in the group could be:

Hi! We started this group so we could eas­ily keep in touch with our neighbours. It would be great if you join! Please be mind­ful that this does share your number with the wider group and by joining, you opt in to that being OK. Thanks

Create a Facebook group

About 98% of people who use social media have a Facebook account. Facebook looks like a good way for reaching people in your neighbourhood. On Facebook you have the option of setting up a page or a group.

Groups are a better choice when you want to communicate with each other. To create a group, go to your home page. Select ‘Create group’ from the menu on the left next to your newsfeed, then follow the instructions.

You will have three privacy options:

  1. Public – anyone can see the group, its members and their posts
  2. Closed – anyone can find the group and see who’s in it. Only members can see posts
  3. Secret – only members can find the group and see posts

When creating a group for your road, the best option is probably a closed group. (A public group is harder to manage. A secret group requires you to be ‘Facebook friends’ with all your neighbours.)

It is a great social network, already geared up for neighbours to communicate with each other and share news with their wider neighbourhoods. When you make an account you may find many of your neighbours are already on there. You can invite your other neighbours to join as well.


If you have an account and follow local people and organisations, you’ll get a wealth of information. You can pass this onto neighbours.


Creating flyers is a great option. They’re easy to create, and everyone receives the message whether they’re online or not. There are some examples to the right of the page.

I have some questions

You may have some questions or need support to help you to be a Good Neighbour.

You may want some support with:

  • Technology - how to set up a Facebook page and WhatsApp group
  • Talking through your concern about one of your neighbours. We can provide an escalation point to the Borough helpline/social care/mental health/dementia support etc.

There are two main ways of reaching out for this support. You can visit the Good Neighbours webpage. You can contact local community organisations who are here to support you.

On the Good Neighbours webpage you can:

  • Ask questions in a public forum and see what others are saying
  • Be inspired by local good news stories and share your own
  • Plot where your neighbourhood is on a map

Here is the web address for the Good Neighbours webpage:

The Good Neighbour scheme has identified four areas across Southend.

Each area has a support organisation who will be the key point of contact for a Good Neighbour.

Staying safe

Image of a person pushing a shopping trolley

Everyone should think through the risks of their actions when working with others.

Think through the risks of any plan you make.

  • use your common sense
  • trust your gut
  • be kind

If you don’t feel comfortable or safe with what you’re doing or have been asked to do, don’t do it!

You can talk to your support organisation. They can give you some advice for your situation.

Any sharing of details should be kept local. Do not recommend anyone share their details beyond a few streets

Reporting incidents

Within small, street wide groups you can share concerns and specific problems. As long as the people involved are happy with this being shared.


Preventing future incidents

If you have a concern about anyone in your neighbourhood contact your support organisation. They will be able to talk this through with you and notify the right people.

This might be blocking people from WhatsApp groups so they can no longer see that information. It might be sharing information about things to look out for, such as scams.

Deleting people from Facebook and WhatsApp groups is. Even if you’re not sure they did the thing it’s reported they did. No one has an automatic right to be in any Facebook or WhatsApp group.


How to handle shopping safely

Here’s a few precautions for handling shopping that we recommend.

  1. Don’t go into any houses. Leave shopping on the doorstep. Let the person know that you have delivered by ringing their bell or via message or phone call. Get confirmation that the person has received it before you leave.
  2. Check all packages are sealed. If an item is meant to be frozen, is it still frozen?
  3. Recommend that those receiving the shopping wash the items and their hands after touching it.
  4. Wash your hands before and after deliveries. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water. When out and about keep a bottle of alcohol hand sanitiser with you.
  5. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Bin the tissue immediately. If you have no tissue, cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  6. Volunteers should follow the government guidelines to reduce the spread of infection, including social distancing.
  7. Public transport should be avoided if possible.


What should I do if I’m worried about someone’s health or welfare?

Contact your support organisation and let them know. Encourage anyone you are in touch with use the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service.


Call 999 if you believe someone’s life is at risk.



If your neighbour needs help collecting a prescription, you could talk to them about the options available:

  1. You or another neighbour could pick up the prescription
  2. A relative or friend could pick up the prescription
  3. They can contact their GP or pharmacist who can help
  4. They can call for a NHS volunteer who could deliver it for them: 08080 196 3646

If you are picking up the prescription, follow the same rules as for food shopping. Ask for written consent to pick it up on their behalf.

If you collect any medication, do not advise on

  • Doses
  • preparation
  • administration

This should only be done by the prescriber.


Financial Safeguarding

Only exchange money with people you trust. Do electronic transfers to avoid handling cash and don’t give out your card or PIN.

Could a family or friend do the transfer using PayPal or similar organisations? If you handle cash follow hand washing advice.


Data protection

padlock and two files

There are some things to consider when handling people’s information.

Be clear about what you are going to do with their information. Tell them why you need it. Tell them what you are going to do with it. Tell them who you may share it with.

If you need to share information about safety concerns you do not need to ask their permission.

Only use people’s information as they would expect you to. Only use it for the purpose you have asked for it.

Only collect the minimum information you need.

Keep the information for as long as you need it. When you finish delete or destroy it safely and securely.

If you make decisions about people from their data, keep a record of it.

The Information Commissioners Office have guidance for community groups. Check out the guidance available on their website:

Community Groups and COVID-19

Data Protection and coronavirus

Do's and dont's


  1. Follow the latest Coronavirus government guidelines. This prevents the spread of infection.
  2. Be patient. Some vulnerable people are stressed and anxious.
  3. Respect that their needs, culture and customs may differ to yours
  4. Help out your neighbours with tasks. This could be food shopping, getting medicines, a friendly phone chat or dog walking.
  5. Follow the data protection guidelines.
  6. Carry your mobile phone. Let someone know where you are going.



  1. Volunteer if you develop symptoms. Self-isolate in line with Government guidance
  2. Go into people’s houses
  3. Give advice on benefits
  4. Fill in forms for others
  5. Share personal information that others have shared with you. Unless it’s for their safety. This includes posting information on social media about vulnerable people.
 Last updated: 02 Jun 2020

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