The Bookham Help Your Neighbour Scheme started in 1968 as a joint venture by the three local churches as an organisation offering neighbourly support and ran for 8 years by which time local resident and St Nicolas’ parishioner Judy Walker was doing most of the volunteering.
In 1976 Archbishop Coggan issued a ‘call to the nation’ urging parish churches to become more involved in serving the local community and The Bookham Help Your Neighbour Scheme was revived and reformed into its present form. Judy together with Shirley Neish formed part of a new committee and people were recruited from the local churches. By the end of the first year there were 150 volunteers and the scheme had handled 100 calls for help. Since then it has grown out of all recognition. In September 2011 the calls became centralised with a designated mobile phone manned every morning Monday to Friday except Bank Holidays. We now have around 100 volunteers who last year answered around 1500 calls for help with transport to medical appointments.
This year we are celebrating 40 years of helping the local community. Maybe you could consider joining our group of volunteers to help lighten the load? Although Bookham Help Your Neighbour originated as a joint venture by the local churches volunteers need not have a church connection just a desire to help. Our ‘clients’ are very grateful for the service we provide which makes the assistance given very rewarding. There is no pressure to give more time than you feel you are able and donations are made to cover your fuel costs.
Should you feel able to help or have any questions please telephone Julia Watts 456615 or Heather Davies 454403.