Voluntary Norfolk’s North Norfolk Health Volunteers scheme, run in partnership with North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is looking for volunteers to visit people in their own homes, where activities may involve sharing a coffee and chat, assisting people with practical or health-related activities, helping someone to get ‘out and about’ or enabling relatives or carers to have a much-needed break.
‘Volunteers do not replace the care of NHS or Social Services staff, nor the support of family members, ‘says Jonny Wood, Senior Co-ordinator for the scheme, ‘but they bring something very special. They choose to give their time and talents, and that is deeply appreciated by those they visit. An hour or so a week can make a tremendous difference, not only to the person receiving the visit, but to the volunteers themselves! So it’s very much a two-way relationship’.
Potential volunteers firstly meet with Voluntary Norfolk co-ordinators to discuss their interests, and, following completion of the application and induction process, are carefully matched with a suitable person to visit. Regular training and support is available, but volunteers are not expected to deliver any personal or medical care nor incur any costs. Visiting arrangements can formally last up to 18 months, but many long-term friendships have developed as a result.
“Many of our volunteers get involved because they want to make a difference to their communities, meet new people or even explore a new career direction” says fellow co-ordinator Natalie Hickman, “They are of all ages, interests and backgrounds. So we would be delighted to hear from everyone who is interested in finding out more. Even if you are not sure how much time you have to spare, we can find the opportunities for you to make a difference.”
Jonny and Natalie anticipate that demand for the service will increase as the cold weather sets in, and are keen to ensure that as few people as possible spend the winter alone. According to Jonny, ‘for many of the people we meet, a regular visit from a friendly face would be the best Christmas present they could possibly receive!’
DATE TOWN/LOCATION TIME
Mon 1st Dec Reepham Library 2.00-3.30pm
Mon 1st Dec Aylsham Library 4.00-5.30pm
Tues 2nd Dec Taverham Library 10.00-11.30am
Tues 2nd Dec Acle Library 3.00-4.30pm
Wed 3rd Dec Wroxham Library 10.00-11.30am
Tues 9th Dec North Walsham Library 10.30am-12.00pm
Thurs 11th Dec Stalham Library 10.30am-12.00pm
Thurs 11th Dec Cromer – Merchants’ Place 3.00-4.30pm
Fri 12th Dec Holt Library 10.00-11.30am (to be confirmed)
Fri 12th Dec Fakenham Library 12.30-2.00pm
Fri 12th Dec Wells Library 3.00-4.30pm