The good neighbour scheme

The good neighbour scheme encouraged people to get to know their elderly neighbours and lend a helping hand should they need it. New Zealand Red Cross started this programme in the 1950s.

One volunteer used to take her elderly neighbours out for motor rides, another read to hers. The service was established in liaison with public health nurses.

Each Red Cross centre decided what shape the service should take in their community. In Keri Keri there was a 'home aid' service, where both Red Cross and the Women's Institute were on hand if there were emergency cases of sickness in the community.

Geraldine Red Cross centre collected food to distribute to neighbours who needed a helping hand. The Blenhiem Red Cross sub-centre took residents of the Amersfoote Home for a drive and afternoon tea twice a week. While, the North Taranaki Red Cross began taking gifts to the local retirement village and New Plymouth hospital and the Canterbury Men's Detachment did gardening and chopped wood for elderly neighbours in the weekend.

Red Cross members continue to carry out these services around New Zealand, however it often goes unrecognised. Share your story of a good neighbour, so we can appreciate their contribution to the community.