December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
One of Norfolk’s biggest charity organisations moves to a new home this week.
A Friend in Need is a campaign run by the Norwich Evening News and Voluntary Norfolk to increase the number of volunteer befrienders in the city.
Inspired by the tragic case of a Lakenham man found dead at home in January 2012, who may have been dead for months before being discovered, the campaign aims to reduce loneliness and isolation by pairing vulnerable people with volunteers.
Not all the clients on Voluntary Norfolk’s books are at risk, but all benefit greatly from spending a couple of hours a week with a befriender.
A Friend in Need this year won high-profile backing from Norfolk coroner William Armstrong, and its impact on the city has been recognised with it being named Community Campaign of the Year at the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards in February 2013. To find out more, call Voluntary Norfolk on 01603 614474.
Voluntary Norfolk is leaving its headquarters in Pottergate, where it has been based since 2007, to move to new offices in Colegate – which the charity hopes could one day become a hub for other voluntary sector organisations.
Linda Rogers, Voluntary Norfolk’s head of operations, said: “The move will allow us to have a much larger and more usable volunteer centre and to site it in a vibrant part of the city that enjoys considerable footfall.”
The move to St Clements House on Thursday takes the charity closer to its roots in Duke Street where, in 1969, Norwich Oganisation for Active Help, as it was then known, operated from a single room.
“Happily we will have more space than we did 40 years ago, but of course the range of activities we undertake on behalf of the sector and the people of Norfolk has greatly expanded since those days,” said Ms Rogers.
Meeting and training rooms will be available for hire from the end of October.
The building will also be the new home of Charity BackRoom, Voluntary Norfolk’s social enterprise arm, which assists charities by dealing with the back office functions that take them away from their front line activities, freeing their time and money for the things that matter.
The flexible accommodation available at St Clements House will also benefit other Norfolk charities.
“We are in discussions with some of Norfolk’s other voluntary groups who are thinking about joining us at St Clements House. When they do, and with our suite of meeting and training rooms up and running, we will in effect have a voluntary sector hub in that part of the city,” added Ms Rogers.
Voluntary Norfolk has been working with the Norwich Evening News to encourage people to give up their time as volunteer befrienders through our award-winning campaign A Friend in Need. Call 01603 614474 to find out more about volunteering.