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South Norfolk Health Volunteers Service

Could you make someone’s day or change someone’s life for the better by visiting them in their own home?

As a ‘South Norfolk Health Volunteer’ you can bring support and friendship to South Norfolk and Breckland residents who experience isolation or who face the challenge of long-term health conditions.

Volunteers can provide a variety of support tailored to each person by becoming a befriender and this could include helping people to access health and social care services, provide practical support around the home with things like DIY or gardening, assistance with managing health conditions, support to follow a rehabilitation programme, provide carers with short breaks from their caring responsibilities and encourage social interaction with support to ‘go out and about’.

Volunteers can work with a client for up to 18 months, usually visiting on either a weekly or fortnightly basis and Voluntary Norfolk will regularly review the support provided to make sure it’s still what the person needs.

Volunteers have an opportunity to acquire new skills, broaden their experience, have fun, meet new people and make a real difference to someone’s life. Volunteers from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. You do need to be over 18 years old, have a good sense of humour, caring nature and be prepared to make a regular commitment. We need two character references and will apply for an enhanced DBS check (there is no charge for volunteers). Induction training and ongoing support will be provided and also opportunity to meet other volunteers of the service through various events throughout the year advertised within or quarterly volunteer newsletter.

So if you have some spare time and would like to support someone you can apply by downloading an application form here and returning it via email to one of our co-ordinators (details below).

‘I’d like a volunteer to visit me or someone I know -  how do I access this service?’

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 they see regularly (e.g. District Nurse) in order to discuss their needs.

The client will then be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for the service. Referrals can also be made via 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 at the address below.

‘Is there a charge for this service?’

There is no charge for a volunteer’s time and effort, but we do request that those receiving visits offer to reimburse their volunteer for travel costs that they may incur – either 45p per mile if using a car, or bus/train fares if using public transport.

How do I get a copy of the referral form?’

Those who are able to make referrals (e.g. health professionals, social care teams) should contact us at the address below. As we send the form and guidance notes via email, we would recommend that you email us to request them in the first place.

Please note that we are unable to take referrals to this service from outside the area covered by the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

For further information, contact the co-ordinators:

Karl Hills: Long Stratton, Diss and Dereham 07551 704246 

David Smythe: Wymondham and Attleborough 01953 606201

Jane Hawker: Thetford 01842 755941