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In Good Company heroes

Celebrating our team of volunteers and details of how you can find volunteering opportunities.

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There’s a wealth of events, services and volunteering opportunities being run by hundreds of organisations across Norfolk which are committed to combating loneliness in the county – and which need your help and support.

Norfolk Community Directory is a free to use online resource.

If you’re lonely and looking for things to do in your area, or you want to volunteer or show your support for a local charity, search the directory to find listings near to you. You could look for community and social groups, for example.

If you are an organisation that runs events or is looking for volunteers, register today and add your events, services and volunteering opportunities to promote them to people in your area.

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Our In Good Company Heroes

Dereham Team

A huge thank you to students who have spent time writing to residents of a Dereham care home to reassure them in these times of uncertainty, as part of a personal development course run by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.  The students on the 12-week Prince's Trust Team programme recently completed a community project to fundraise and create a garden for residents of NorseCare's St Nicholas House Care Home in Littlefields.

Following social distancing guidance, the Dereham Team has been running remotely using technology which allows the students to learn together from home.  They decided that because they were no longer able to visit St Nicholas House, they would instead write letters to let the staff and residents know they were thinking of them.

Care home manager Pippa Riches said:  "It was a lovely surprise for the residents to receive the letters and to know that the young people were interested in them and their wellbeing.

"Our residents had formed a really strong bond with them and are so happy to know people are thinking of them at a time when relatives and friends are unable to visit us.

"We are grateful to Dereham Team and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, and overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion shown to our residents and staff.  These letters were just what we needed to lift spirits and brought back fond memories of the times spent together on the garden project."

Brenda O'Dowd

Swanton Morley Parish Council was awarded funding from the Norfolk Community Foundation through the Covid-19 Community Response Fund to support the Swanton Morley COVID-19 Volunteer Response Team.

Brenda is one of the team of Breckland Community Support Volunteers, and is visiting vulnerable residents in and around Dereham as part of the Breckland Covid-19 response.  She's passionate about helping those in need, and already heavily involved in the Covid-19 response in the Swanton Morley, Hoe and Worthing villages. 

Brenda is also the Vice-Chair of Swanton Morley Parish Council and Volunteer Coordinator.  She said "This project was set up to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on our community.  To bring together 30 enthusiastic volunteers from the Villages of Swanton Morley, Hoe and Worthing, to coordinate their efforts and to respond to the needs of the parishioners.”

The initiative is supported by Swanton Morley Parish Council and the Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting Chairman, and is doing a great job of keeping people connected and supported.

Brenda continued: “We are there to help the vulnerable, those in self-isolation or those shielding following government advice.  We will pick up a weekly shop or urgent supplies, post mail, take prescriptions and collect medication, walk your dog or just have a friendly chat over the phone. 

The support and dedication of the volunteers, and the village shops, in helping our community is invaluable."

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