Voluntary Norfolk gets Loneliness
As part of Loneliness Awareness Week, Voluntary Norfolk is supporting the Marmalade Trust‘s We Get Loneliness campaign; we understand it, we experience it and we are proud to offer services and support to help combat it.
Voluntary Norfolk’s CEO Alan Hopley said ‘This is an important week to raise awareness of loneliness and to reassure people that loneliness is an experience, it does not define us. It is also an opportunity to remind people that there is support out there for anyone who is feeling lonely and they should not be embarrassed to acknowledge this feeling and ask for help.’
- Our Better Together Service is funded by Norfolk County Council and has a team of friendly Life Connectors who can support people to overcome the practical and emotional challenges that prevent them joining in and connecting to others. The Life Connectors offer information, advice and support to help people overcome barriers and help them connect to groups, activities and volunteering opportunities in their area. Even during Covid, when it was not possible to meet physically, the Life Connectors helped people keep in touch through phone calls, online groups, quizzes, art and craft clubs, outdoor Covid-safe community activities and even their own monthly radio show on Future Radio.
- Our Covid Response Volunteer Service has a team of volunteers who provide regular befriending phone calls to people who have been shielding or self-isolating due to Covid. The phone calls provide a valuable lifeline to the outside world and, as one client Christine said ‘ are the highlight of my week. I really look forward to [volunteer Fiona] phoning and although we have never met face-to-face, I feel I can say anything to her; it’s like I’ve known her for years. She is so warm and kind-hearted and has such an infectious laugh. She has kept me going through all this.’
- Voluntary Norfolk is also the leading organisation in the county for promoting and enabling volunteering, which is one of the best ways to get out and meet people and to feel better connected to our local community. Many people think that volunteering involves a long term, regular commitment and they may not be ready to make that step yet, but there are lots of opportunities for one-off or occasional volunteering, or roles which can be done from home. Anyone who wants to try volunteering can search our Volunteer Portal, or contact our Volunteer Centre.
- We also recognise that some people feel isolated because they do not feel comfortable using the internet or digital technologies. Our Digital Inclusion Volunteer Service can help people who are physically and emotionally isolated to get online, to keep in touch with friends and family and join online groups and activities.