IT seems a shame that a pioneering scheme covering Oxfordshire to help the elderly has been abandoned because of a lack of funding.

The Neighbourhood Return scheme launched in 2012 with the help of Lottery funding had the bright idea of signing up thousands of volunteers to search for dementia sufferers if they wandered away from their homes.

Wallingford resident Roger Stammers helped to set up the scheme after his wife Isobel went missing temporarily in 2004 because she had Alzheimer’s disease.

He and other residents in the same position will be disappointed that this sensible scheme has been forced to close because there have only been a few emergency call-outs.

It can’t be easy looking for a missing relative on your own and although the Neighbourhood Return scheme has been shelved the goodwill of the thousands of volunteers should not be lost.

A mechanism should be found for channeling this can-do attitude.