Be a community friend this winter

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People are being encouraged to check on their elderly neighbours this winter as part of a community scheme.

The ‘Community Friends’ scheme asks people to help in many ways, such as calling in on older neighbours to check they are warm and well, helping with food shopping, collecting prescriptions or taking older neighbours to GP appointments and clearing snow from doors and paths or gritting side roads and paths.

Dr Zak McMurray, Sheffield GP and medical director, said the scheme was particularly important in the winter as it can be especially challenging if you’re alone and have no support.

“This scheme encourages people to support their friends, family or neighbours and offer them help wherever they may need it.

“Looking in on an elderly neighbour can make a huge difference, helping to prevent loneliness and making sure they are safe .”

People regularly go above and beyond to help people in their area.

All community friends will receive a certificate, as a thank you from their nominee and the NHS.

Sheffield Council has also produced a ‘snow your neighbour you care’ card to help kind-hearted people offer help to vulnerable people this winter.

Designed to act as an ice-breaker and a way for people to introduce themselves, the card is for people to put their details on and post through an older person’s door, or use to start off a chat.

They are available at venues across the city.

To nominate someone to be a community friend, visit www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk and click on the ‘involve me’ tab or email sheccg.comms@nhs.net or call 0114 305 1212.