“Burenhulpcentrale” (BHC) (centre for neighbourly help) exists since 2012 and is a project of the wellness organisations in The Hague. In  the city centre disctricts it functions under the Zebra Foundation. BHC is active in all  districts of The Hague. “BHC brings people in contact when a helping hand is needed,” says coordinator Patricia Haverkort. “For example to go shopping, acompany somebody to the hospital, do some chores in home or garden, walk the dog, help with the computer – anything. In short, small once-only jobs where people need a little help. It is non-committal, so you need not worry that you have to commit for a long period of time.”
It is important to know that, because not everybody has time or feels like committing for a longer period of time. And there are people who need help only once in a while.
BHC is not only meant for seniors with a restriction. Patricia Haverkort: “Participants – both those offering and asking for help – are usually over 50 year of age; but we also have many  participants younger than that.”
Becoming a participant is simple: you register by telephone or via the website as requesting or offering help. When a job is registered the helpers automatically get a call with a concise description of the job. With one button you can indicate whether you can help or not. In the central exchange a red or green light indicates whether there has been a connection. On the other hand you can look at the jobs and choose one via the BHC website. In future participating will be even simpler with apps and email.
Patricia: “I am very happy with the way BHC functions at the moment. People know where to find it and it is nice when connections last longer: people may go for a walk together once a week, or tend a garden for a whole season. To enjoy each others company and have a cup of coffee down town. Or a gentleman who does a lot of jobs, just because he likes to. In district Centre we now have about 600 participants. For 90 percent of the jobs we have found a helper.”

Participants in Archipel and Willemspark will be welcome.
“BHC Centre has use for more participants: it is a mixed district with people from all cultures and dispositions. We need people who can explain the use of a smart phone or tablet. Or are willing to have a chat or take a walk with someone. We see that part of the residents find solutions within their own social circle. At the same time we see that the number of participants is increasing. I visit selfhelp organisations of various cultures and backgrounds to give information about BHC. I hope BHC will become something for everybody in the district, so that more and more people will see each other and look after each other. More participants from district Centre will be more than welcome.”

Patricia Haverkort and Sanne Smit are the coordinators employed by Zebra and they have a group of volunteers under their wings  from 4 community centres who man the helpdesk, both front office and back office.

Do you want to participate in a non-committal way? Would you like to register a request for help? Would you like to offer your help?
Please call 070-262 9999 or 070-205 2600, location De Burcht. Or go to the website www.burenhulpcentrale.nl

Volunteer taxi service
The volunteer taxi service “Begeleiden en Rijden” is looking for volunteers who are willing to do a few car rides per month with their own cars. For more information please call: 070-2052700. Volunteer drivers will be very welcome.
This service started in August 2015, is part of Burenhulpcentrale and functions under the wings of Zebra. It accompanies and offers transportation to people over 60 years of age.
Membership costs € 10,00 per year; moreover you reimburse the expenses of the volunteer drivers who transport you in their own cars. Do you need to go to the hospital or to a funeral and does the local bus, taxibus or public transport not offer you enough support? Then call community centre De Burcht where we man the telephone every day.

31 May 2016, Patricia Haverkort
Coördinator Burenhulpcentrale, Begeleiden en Rijden en Vrijwilligerspunten.p.haverkort@zebrawelzijn.nl
Tel.: 070-2052700 or 070-2052700
Website: www.burenhulpcentrale.nl
Facebook: Patricia Haverkort Burenhulpcentrale.
When you need more information or want to invite me to give a talk to your organisation, please contact us at 070-2052600 or 070-2052700.