Voluntary Norfolk Health Volunteers

Health Volunteers bring support and friendship to South Norfolk and Breckland and North Norfolk residents who experience social isolation or who face the challenge of long term health conditions.

Loneliness can have a detrimental impact on well-being. Our service thus helps to increase well-being and the quality of life for the most vulnerable in our communities. Social isolation can affect anyone and our service therefore supports clients from diverse backgrounds. However, it is easy to become socially isolated after an illness, bereavement or major life event. The chances also increase for those who are elderly. Many of the people we support are therefore older and frequently suffer with ill health or are just lonely.

What is involved?

Health Volunteers meet regularly offering companionship and support, they visit a person at home, in a care home or in supported accommodation. They can go for a walk, or simply share interests and activities with the person they visit.

Our Health Volunteers support people in the local community by:

  • Providing companionship on a regular basis, and encouraging social interaction
  • Enabling participants to carry out activities by encouraging confidence
  • Assist with managing health conditions including recovery after injury or major life event
  • Undertaking active and healthy tasks with the person to include walking, shopping or going to a local event

The emphasis of the service is very much on the social and relational – volunteers do things ‘with’ their clients rather than ‘for’ them. Furthermore, volunteers are not expected to deliver any personal or medical care nor undertake any financial transactions. Visiting arrangements can officially last up to 18 months, but many longer-term friendships have developed as a result.

Referrals

People wishing to access the service, either for themselves or for a friend or family member, should in the first instance contact their GP or a health professional that they see regularly in order to discuss their needs.

The client will then be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for the service. Referrals can be made via the NCAN Referral System (ONLY for South Norfolk), social care teams, self-referral, GP’s, housing authorities and some other charities/voluntary sector service providers working in the relevant fields. For further information on the referral process, please contact us.

Project Staff

South Norfolk Team

  • Karl Hills, Long Stratton, Diss and Dereham: 07551704246
  • David Smythe, Wymondham and Attleborough: 07956211868
  • Jane Hawker, Thetford: 01842 755941

North Norfolk Team

  • Debbie Chinman – Acle, Lingwood, Stalham: 01263 519454
  • Inge Holden – Sheringham, Holt, Fakenham: 07781 0641499
  • Natalie Hickman – Cromer, Aylsham, Spixworth: 01263 519454