Befrienders on the road to helping people in need in Norwich

The new crop of Norwich Evening News befrienders are taking their first steps towards helping people across Norwich.

More than 40 people have offered their services since June's launch of our Friend in Need campaign with Voluntary Norfolk.

Small groups have been training at the organisation's offices in Pottergate to find out more about the opportunities ahead of them and be matched up with clients they will meet every week.

Among the volunteers was Michelle Clover, a former office administrator who had been looking for the right voluntary opportunity to come along.

'I always knew that I wanted to do something, and when I saw the articles in the paper I thought 'I'm going to go for that,'' she said.

'It's just such a good idea, and really not that much time when you look at it – just two hours a week.

Mrs Clover, 30, said she hoped to share her interests of reading, photography or outdoor activities with her client.

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'Just the thought of putting a smile on somebody's face by dropping by for a chat once a week is really nice,' she said.

April Dunleavy, 29, a fashion designer and lecturer living in Norwich, said she wanted to put her spare time to better use.

'I've now got time and I hope I can help somebody else do something good for themselves. It's about fulfilment, but I had always been too busy before.'

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