Neighbourhood Care Scheme

Working with local volunteers to support older people, people with physical disabilities and carers.

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Welcome to the Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS)

We are a good neighbour befriending scheme that supports older people, people with physical disabilities and carers by recruiting local volunteers to support them in a variety of ways. The scheme operates in seventeen neighbourhoods of Brighton & Hove, embracing about half of the city’s population (c.125,000 people).

The NCS is committed to the value of good neighbourliness.

Benefits for scheme members

  1. Increase your confidence and wellbeing

    Over the last six years 91% of scheme members have reported a benefit from their volunteer support.

  2. Reduce isolation

    54% feel more connected to their local community and 42% feel less depressed.

    “My volunteer comes weekly for a chat and does small jobs. Feel less isolated as my arthritic ankle prevents me from going out a lot.”

  3. Make friends & have fun

    Spending time with a volunteer creates a valuable friendship and many good experiences.

    “[My volunteer] visits, takes me out, take me to hospital appointments. I’m able to get out sometimes and she’s a friend now who comes for a cuppa and chat. We have a laugh and girlie afternoons.”

Benefits for volunteers

  1. Make a difference

    The impact a volunteer can make on the life of their scheme member is substantial.

    “I feel [my volunteer] is part of my family. I am so grateful.”

  2. Connect positively with your community

    94% of volunteers report a positive benefit from volunteering and 63% feel more connected to their local community.

  3. Make friends & have fun

    The friendship a volunteer shares with their scheme member is just as important and beneficial to both parties.

    “Over five years [my scheme member and I] have developed a meaningful and personal relationship that means a lot to us.”

NCS staff team

NCS staff team
From left to right: Assuntina, Naomi, Sally, Susan, Sean, Emily, Sharon, Natasha, Ellie

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Queen's Award for Voluntary Service logo

MandBF Approved Provider Standard

How We Work

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How can you get help from the NCS?

We accept referrals from individuals who meet our eligibility criteria (people aged over 60, adults with a physical or sensory disability or chronic condition, and carers who live in our neighbourhoods), their families, their friends, voluntary organisations, and social and health care agencies.

You can make a referral by telephone, e-mail or post.

The NCS helps individuals by finding local volunteers to help them in the following ways:

  • Social visiting/befriending
  • Accompanying out (to the shops, to the doctors, for pleasure)
  • Reading aloud
  • Telephone support
  • Form filling
  • Arts and crafts
  • Dog walking
  • Simple DIY
  • Painting and decorating
  • Shopping
  • Assistance with wheelchairs
  • Playing games
  • One-off tasks
  • Falls prevention advice

While our volunteers do a lot of practical tasks, the NCS is committed to providing long-term practical and social support to people.

Other organisations and services you may be interested in

  • Age UK Brighton & Hove: Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone through our information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research.
  • It’s Local, Actually: Looking for something to do or get involved with in your area? Use It’s Local, Actually to find an activity perfect for you.
  • Impact Initiatives: Impact Initiatives is a Sussex charity dedicated to helping people of all ages to live healthy, fulfilled lives as part of the community.
  • Lifelines: Retired or over 50? Your Age and Experience could make a difference to an older person’s life! LifeLines is an exciting volunteer-led project which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of isolated and vulnerable older people living in Brighton & Hove.


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Could I volunteer?

Yes! NCS volunteers are ordinary people who want to help their neighbours – there are no special qualifications. However, because many of the people we support (our scheme members) are isolated and vulnerable, we take great care in the selection of our volunteers, all of whom go through an Equal Opportunities selection procedure. This careful procedure ensures that the wellbeing of scheme members and volunteers alike are maintained. It includes:

  • An informal interview
  • References being requested and followed up
  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Induction
  • Careful matching with an appropriate scheme member
  • On-going support
  • On-going training

How do I get involved?

If you want to know more check the Impetus volunteer page for vacancies, or contact us with any questions.

Some quotes from our volunteers:

“I am rather lonely and it gives me some sense of purpose to visit her.”

“Good to have a meaningful and personal relationship with someone older. Never knew my grandmother in this way. Appreciate the issues affecting older people.”

“I always feel positive after visiting my scheme member because she is such an inspiration. Also I feel I’ve gained a great friend despite the age difference.”

Downloads for current volunteers

Forms, Policies and Procedures:


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Thanks to the NCS supporters!


Our main funders are:

  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Derek & Eileen Dodgson Trust
  • EPIC Programme
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The Henry Smith Charity
  • Individual donors


In 2013-14, our main funders were:

  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Derek & Eileen Dodgson Trust
  • The Henry Smith Charity

Neighbourhoods + Map

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The NCS now operates in seventeen neighbourhoods of Brighton & Hove!

  • Coombe Road (including Saunders Park estate)
  • Hanover (including Hartington Road and Elm Grove)
  • Queen’s Park
  • North Laine
  • Regency
  • Poets Corner and Vallance
  • Hangleton and Knoll
  • North Portslade
  • South Portslade
  • Patcham and Hollingbury
  • Whitehawk and Manor Farm
  • Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
  • Hollingdean
  • Kemptown & Marina
  • Stanford
  • Westdene & Withdean
  • Preston Park & Fiveways


Download a map of all our current neighbourhoods.

We are constantly aiming to expand our reach to cover as much of Brighton & Hove as possible.

Please contact the office if you have any further enquiries about the limits of each neighbourhood.


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Please note: 
Some names and/or images may be changed where necessary to protect the identities of those involved. Thanks for understanding.

Click on a photo to read the full story.

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