Volunteer health champions aim to take strain off services

PUBLISHED: 18:39 05 February 2013 | UPDATED: 18:39 05 February 2013

A team of volunteer champions are set to help people across Norfolk improve their health after receiving a £50,000 grant.

The money has been awarded to Voluntary Norfolk, which will use the money to take on and train volunteers to encourage people keen to make lifestyle changes.

They will help them to quit smoking, lose weight, cut down on alcohol and exercise more, leaving them better able to manage their own health and wellbeing.

The programme will work with health and care services to reduce the need for costly acute intervention further down the line, and direct resources elsewhere.

Linda Rogers, Voluntary Norfolk’s head of operations, said: “We know that people in Norfolk take the subject of health improvement seriously and we are confident that the volunteer health champions will get a good response.

“We think that the service will make a real difference to people in the county, both for those who want to improve their health and those who want to contribute to the wellbeing of their community through volunteering.”

The health champions will be concentrated in villages and market towns, and aim to help at least 100 people to achieve their health goals.

Voluntary Norfolk has received the money from the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund run by the Department of Health, and volunteers will undertake the Royal Society for Public Health Improvement level two course.

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