New Southwater Neighbour Network to ‘help people stay more connected’

JPCT 160114 S14040016x  launch of Southwater Neighbour Network -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 160114 S14040016x launch of Southwater Neighbour Network -photo by Steve Cobb

A community group that aims to ‘help people stay connected’ in Southwater was launched by volunteers last week.

Southwater Neighbour Network marked its official launch at the Southwater Country Park Cafe last Thursday with committee members, volunteers, service users, and sponsors in attendance.

Chairperson Jackie Pattison, who lives in Andrews Road, said that it was ‘fabulous’ to see the service launched after the hard work of volunteers behind the scenes.

She added: “It’s amazing and it was lovely to see so many services users there who are definitely going to use the network.”

Vulnerable or elderly people in Southwater are being offered things such as social visits from volunteers, help with shopping, transport to appointments or social events, or help in the home doing occasional jobs.

Jackie explained: “We arrange a time for a first visit and see how we can help you.”

All its volunteers are DBS checked, and users are not charged any fees.

One of the people already being helped out by the service is Southwater pensioner

Jean Burge, who saw volunteers visit her home over the Christmas period. She said: “I’m very grateful and it was very good of them to do it because there was not anyone else who could come in.”

Committee member Vicki Morgan said: “It would be nice for someone to pop in and have a cup of tea and it takes away some of the anxiety if someone comes down there will be people who can come in and get something like a pint of milk.”

Anne Kent, a community organiser who helped Jackie get SNN off the ground, added: “Volunteering can fit to whatever your commitments.”

County councillor Brad Watson (Con, Southwater and Nuthurst) said: “It’s the community getting involved in helping itself and it’s fantastic and a great credit to those who have got together and got it off the ground.”

Philip Circus, chairman of Horsham District Council, added: “It’s an excellent example for others to emulate.”

Jackie thanked Southwater Parish Council, West Sussex County Council, Tanbridge House School, Barratt Homes, Bovis Homes, and Saxon Weald for their financial contributions.

To find out more about the service or to volunteer call 07766088967 or email