As the opening song of a very popular television show said: Everybody needs good neighbours’, but now a new local charity, the Ross Community Development Trust is taking this idea of being a good neighbour a step further by launching a new project in April to help bring members of the community together.

Ross Good Neighbours is inviting volunteers to become “Neighbourhood Buddies” for the scheme. About 80 buddies will be needed in Ross, each responsible for between 60-100 households in a patch - that is a few streets close to where they live. The buddies will be the face of Ross Good Neighbours locally and will promote the scheme and deal with initial queries from residents.

The main responsibilities will be:

* agreeing that some contact details will be available to the public. This will include an email address

* circulating a newsletter about Ross Good Neighbours, and volunteering opportunities in Ross, to every household on the patch (between 60 and 100) five times a year.

* attending two training sessions about safeguarding, and how Ross Good Neighbours will work, before starting volunteering, and regular updating sessions after that.

* applying for an enhanced DBS check, if you do not have portable one already, or if it is more than three years old.

* using information on the Ross CDT and other websites to refer queries and requests for help from your neighbours to other voluntary groups or NHS or social services.

* keeping simple records of referrals and contacts with the public.

* being a good neighbour in your neighbourhood patch.

If you would like to join the scheme as a Neighbourhood buddy, you should attend two training sessions, one about Safeguarding and Dementia Awareness and one on Being a Neighbourhood Buddy. These will take place at Ross Baptist Church on Broad Street. It does not matter which session you do first. There are several dates available and you can register for these at: It is possible to do both courses on one Saturday, or to do them on two weekday evenings, or to mix one Saturday session with an evening one.

There will be tea and coffee available at the training sessions, and lunch on the Saturdays.