Milestone celebration for Good Neighbour Scheme regular

Special celebrations were enjoyed by members of a ‘good neighbour’ group after one of its regulars celebrated her 100th birthday. Carrie Robertson was the centre of attention during a party organised by volunteers behind the Whetstone Good Neighbour Scheme (WGNS). So many people attended the celebration at St Peter’s Parish Centre that two cakes were needed with Carrie cheerfully blowing out the candles on both. 

Born in Leicester, Carrie retired to Whetstone more than three decades ago and has been using the Good Neighbour Scheme for several years. The initiative, which was launched with help from Blaby District Council, aims to help residents who may need a little extra support with simple tasks they may struggle to complete themselves. 

Volunteers can assist with anything from changing a lightbulb, collecting prescriptions or offering a lift to an appointment. Last year the team of enthusiastic volunteers completed nearly 2,000 tasks to help their neighbours in need. The scheme brings much more than just practical benefits for residents, it’s a lifeline to people who may otherwise have no support locally and helps people keep their independence living at home. 

Carrie, who was delighted with the birthday party, said: “The volunteers in the scheme are wonderful. You only have to ring them and they’ll sort it. I can’t walk very well now so they collect me by car and take me to the lunch club I attend. There are lots of us using the scheme and it brings so much friendship. Everyone who volunteers there is great – I can’t fault them.” 

As well as help to get off the ground, the group has also received Community Grant funding from Blaby District Council for social events which bring service users together in a safe space, reducing isolation and loneliness.

Councillor Nigel Grundy, Blaby District Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, said: “I’m thrilled we have been able to support this amazing organisation in Whetstone which helps so many people retain their independence as well as meet others to make new friends. It’s great to see the group come together for the very special occasion which was Carrie’s 100th birthday. Many happy returns to Carrie and long may the Whetstone Good Neighbour Scheme continue in doing its sterling work.” 

WGNS needs more volunteers and anyone who may be able to offer some time and would like to find out more should contact the scheme co-ordinator on 07939 685 537 

For more information visit: Whetstone Good Neighbour Scheme – When You’re In Need… We’re Friends In Deed (whetstonegns.org.uk)  

For more information about Blaby District Council’s Community Grants Scheme visit: Community Grants – Blaby District Council