Biggleswade Good Neighbours say: 'We're still here to help!'

The hardworking team at Biggleswade Good Neighbours (BGN) is urging residents to reach out for help if they are struggling during the pandemic.

By Joanna Gravett
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:19 am

As the town endures the third national lockdown, the kind-hearted volunteers are busy doing people’s shopping, collecting prescriptions and running a telephone befriending service.

They are also offering to drive residents to vaccination or doctor’s appointments in Biggleswade, and wish to remind townsfolk to give them a call if they need assistance.

Chairman John Robertson said: “It’s going well. It’s still been busy and I think that now we have got into the rhythm of things, whereas in the first lockdown everybody was finding their way.

Biggleswade Good Neighbours out and about litter picking pre-pandemic. Photo: Biggleswade Good Neighbours.

“A lot of residents were panicking back in March and didn’t know what to do or who could help, but now people mostly know who we are.”

Biggleswade Good Neighbours had been running long before the pandemic started, having been established as part of the Good Neighbours scheme in Bedfordshire and relaunched in 2014.

It now has about 240 volunteers who are all on standby, with team members putting themselves forward when a job request comes in.

John said: “We have well over 100 different clients being rung on a weekly basis.

“Some of them started to form really good friendships between the lockdowns; some of our volunteers would take them out on trips. It’s bridging age gaps and gaps between different parts of the town. It’s not just the clients that are helped but it’s also beneficial to the volunteer’s well-being and sense of purpose. That’s a benefit of volunteering, not just with BGN, but generally.”

BGN can provide lifts to medical appointments within Biggleswade, although if anyone needs to travel further the team can put residents in touch with other groups who could help.

There will also be safety measures; for example, you will need to wear a mask, sit in the back, and wind your window down. You must not have/display symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who has it.

BGN would like to say a big thank you to all its volunteers, as well as Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC).

To request help or join the BGN team of volunteers, please call: 07771 104255.