Funding granted to continue health volunteer service in south Norfolk

Health volunteer scheme given two more years of funding. Photo: South Norfolk CCG

Health volunteer scheme given two more years of funding. Photo: South Norfolk CCG - Credit: South Norfolk CCG

An innovative health volunteer service in south Norfolk has been granted a further two years of funding.

It means hundreds of local people can continue to be supported in their everyday lives by kind and dedicated people living in the community.

Voluntary Norfolk has been commissioned by NHS South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide a health volunteer service since 2014, and has recruited more than 240 volunteers over the course of the project.

The renewed service will run to September 2019.

Health volunteers offer practical support, help and guidance for people recovering from a period of ill health, or living with a long term condition.


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Individuals referred into the service are matched to an appropriate volunteer, who meets with them and decides how they can best support them.

David Smythe, service Coordinator, said: 'Setting someone up with a volunteer is a big step – we know the skills and personalities of the volunteers that take part in the service, so we can facilitate a meeting between the person needing support and the volunteer we think would suit them best.'

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'We find out what the person needs, and how the volunteer can help – this can range from keeping a house and garden tidy to reduce the chances of someone tripping over, helping someone with their shopping, or assisting them in attend groups or activities they go to.'

Reg and Judy are a husband and wife who have really benefitted from the service. Reg has dementia and Judy sometimes finds it hard.

But volunteer Eddie has come to the rescue. He pops in regularly to chat to Reg and often takes him out on trips, giving Judy much-needed respite.

Judy said: 'He has given Reg the ability to talk to another man and go out...it's a lifeline.'

She added he had become part of the family, taking Reg out on short trips to give her a break.

Karl Hills, senior cooordinator, said: 'People receiving help from a volunteer tell us how valuable they find the service, and this is mirrored by the experience of the volunteers themselves.'

• For more information on the scheme visit www.voluntarynorfolk.org.uk/south-norfolk-health-volunteers-service

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