Please be aware that during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic all Voluntary Norfolk staff are working from home and some of our services may be affected. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and through our News Posts for further information and regular updates. If you wish to contact a member of our Team, please go to Our Team pages for staff email addresses and in some cases their work mobile numbers. Thank you.
Voluntary Norfolk health & wellbeing volunteers offer support to people in South Norfolk, Breckland and North Norfolk who are facing the challenges of a newly diagnosed long term condition, recovery from an injury or period of ill-health, or a condition that may cause social isolation or loss of independence as part of the progression of the illness. Volunteers work with clients to improve physical and emotional health, wellbeing and independence.
It is easy for anyone to need extra support after an illness, operation or challenging health diagnosis or to manage progressive, long-term health conditions. Routines can change, independence and confidence can be affected and people, especially those without support networks from friends or family, can become housebound and isolated.
Our health & wellbeing volunteers offer support to help people adjust to these life events and regain the confidence and motivation they need to go on to manage their own health & wellbeing, improving both their independence and their quality of life.
Our volunteers usually visit a person at home, in a care home, in supported accommodation or in a public place e.g. a café. During the Covid pandemic our volunteers continue to support, encourage and motivate their clients by phone or through video calls.
Volunteers initially support their client for 3 months with the partnership being extended to 6 months if more time is needed. Some partnerships may extend beyond six months when it is clear the individual will continue to benefit from the volunteer’s support in setting and achieving lifestyle goals.
What does a health & wellbeing volunteer do?
Our Health and Wellbeing Volunteers support and encourage the client:
- to carry out day-to-day activities
- to have a healthier lifestyle for example through exercise and healthier eating
- to retain or develop social activities
- to access information about other services, for example, falls prevention services, community alarm providers, medication management, fuel efficiency, smoking/alcohol reduction services.
This is not a simple befriending service, the emphasis is on a pro-active partnership, with the volunteer and client working together to set and achieve goals.
Volunteers are not expected to deliver any personal or medical care nor undertake any financial transactions.
How do I become a health & wellbeing volunteer?
Volunteers need to be over 18 years old and have a non-judgmental, pro-active attitude to helping and supporting their client make positive changes to their lives. Volunteers must be prepared to make a regular commitment.
Voluntary Norfolk will need two character references and will apply for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. There is no charge for volunteers. All Voluntary Norfolk volunteers are asked to complete online e-learning to ensure that they, and their client have a safe partnership. Once we have completed our checks and you have finished your training you will be partnered with a client.
If you are interested in becoming a Health and Wellbeing volunteer please apply here.
How do I access the service?
GPs, health professionals, community connectors, integrated care coordinators, social workers and Norfolk County Council community development workers can all refer clients to the Voluntary Norfolk health and wellbeing service. A variety of care and support agencies e.g. homecare or day care services, housing authorities and charitable organisations can also refer into the service.
People wishing to access the service, either for themselves, a friend or family member, should speak to a worker or organisation listed above that they are in regular contact with or phone the Better Together Norfolk helpline on 0300 303 3920 in order to discuss their needs and possible referral.
Jane Hawker, Amanda Read and Gina Brown
Email the Team
Funding and Partners
South Norfolk and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups