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 FRIENDS IN DEED

Here for the people of Buckden

Who are we?

‘Friends In Deed’ is a Buckden group that has been set up to visit or help anyone in the village who is in need, perhaps because they are unwell, housebound, feeling lonely or new to the village. We are able to offer anything from a chat over a cup of tea to helping out with the practicalities of coping when things are difficult. And we can provide local transport when family, friends or public transport cannot oblige.

We are under the umbrella of Care Network Cambridgeshire, a group which provides training opportunities, and we are registered as a Community Transport Scheme with Cambridgeshire County Council.

Visiting

Our Friends in Deed Coordinator can arrange for one of our volunteers to visit and help out, from a ‘one-off’ call to deal with a specific issue to regular visits. Time and frequency of visits is agreed by the two people concerned. The only criterion is that the person must live within the parish boundary of Buckden. If anyone needs support with shopping or errands during bad weather, or is housebound and would like a visit from one of our volunteers then do give us a call.

Peace of mind

All our visitors and drivers have been security checked and will always have an identity card with them. Please make sure you ask to see it if you don’t know the volunteer to avoid any misunderstanding. Your visitor or driver will respect your privacy and won’t reveal personal information.

Is there a charge?

Our visitors do not make any charge. However, if you ask the visitor to use their car on your behalf, or if you use one of our drivers for transport to appointments or events then there is a small charge to cover costs. There is a fixed return charge of £2 within Buckden, £2.50 to Brampton and £3.00 to Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Other journeys are charged at 30p per mile. Please note that Buckden Surgery runs its own transport scheme so we do not provide transport for appointments at this surgery. Transport to Friends in Deed organised events, such as our Tea Parties, is free.

What can we do?

We will try and give you the help you need.This might include:

  • Calling in for a chat and a cup of tea
  • Offering friendship, and support and encouragement through difficult times
  • Providing opportunities for socialising at the Tea Parties or monthly ‘drop in’
  • Helping with practical needs such as occasional shopping or social outings
  • Transport – for those hospital, dental and clinic appointments or for visiting relatives – and transport to village events for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.
  • Advice and assistance in dealing with ‘officialdom’ and suggesting where extra specific help might be found. One of our volunteers has previously worked with Age UK and has experience of helping people deal with quasi-legal problems and filling in forms.

We hold a ‘drop-in’ for a cup of tea and cake in the Living Stones room at St Mary’s Church on the second Wednesday of every month and we organise a Winter and a Summer Tea Party, events that are very well attended and held usually in February and August respectively. Transport can be provided to and from these events if required.

Transport

This is one of our busy tasks and our Transport Coordinators are Jane and Andy Scott. If you need a lift you can call a dedicated phone line, 07914 669967, which is checked 3 times a day. Please speak slowly and clearly, and leave a message giving your name, address and contact number, and details of your request, and they will do their best to find a driver for you. The nominated driver will contact you to arrange a pick-up time. Please remember that we are not an ‘instant’ taxi service and we do need as much notice as possible to contact our pool of drivers by email and set up the trip! As well as medical appointments destinations have included, amongst others, day centres, dental and hearing clinics, chiropractor, chiropodist and veterinary surgeries (pets accompanied by their owner!).

What if I’d like to help?

All help is greatly appreciated. Please do call Christine Lawrence, the Friends in Deed co-ordinator, on 07810 006598 if you would like to know more about volunteering.

Call us on 07914 669967 for requests for transport or on 07810 006598 for everything else!

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