Quality awards

Our first Quality Mark winners were announced in September 2017, with further winners added in April 2018.

Quality Mark Plus winners

Active Norfolk has received a Plus mark because it has gone beyond the general remit of the organisation by developing a range of new sport and physical activity products specifically aimed at groups of people who are at risk of social isolation and loneliness.

  • Mobile Me – a portable suite of activities for older people designed to increase levels of physical activity and social interaction.  Five hundred people in sheltered housing and housing with care homes in Norwich and Broadland have already participated.
  • Norwich Best for Pets and Walking Football - two projects designed to increase social interaction and bring people living in the Norwich communities of Lakenham and Tuckswood together
  • Memory Walks – for people living with dementia and their families/carers in North Norfolk

The organisation also works closely with charities to increase greater sport participation among disabled residents – a key way of improving opportunities for a group of people who can often find themselves excluded from mainstream sporting activity.

In addition, Active Norfolk runs a network of volunteers – providing an outlet for people looking for more social interaction while helping to increase sport participation in the county.

Find out more about services or volunteering by visiting www.activenorfolk.org.

Despite being a tiny organisation of just two people (one plus a volunteer) they go beyond the remit of the service they provide.  Bee Seated runs exercise classes for older people who are frail and have mobility or chronic health problems.  For many of those who attend, it is the only social interaction they have all week.

Instead of just teaching classes and going home, they go the extra mile to develop a greater social element for their members, for example sending birthday and get well cards to members and organising transport, group lunches and annual get-togethers, which have directly helped to reduce loneliness and social isolation among those who take part.  As a result they have been awarded a Quality Mark Plus.

To find out about this and similar services in your area visit the Norfolk Community Directory.

For launching a dedicated campaign and tackling loneliness and social isolation among their tenants, including 1:1 support and a range of outreach services.

The remit of Cavell Court is to provide care for residents, including those with dementia, in the 80-bed care home which opened in June 2015 on the new Roundhouse Way estate in Cringleford, south of Norwich.

Cavell Court has been awarded the Quality Mark Plus because the team has looked outwards to its wider community, creating new monthly social events for residents and community members to meet and make new friends and by playing a leading role in making Cringleford dementia friendly.

In direct response to the In Good Company campaign the care home has started a monthly lunch club so members of the community who may be feeling lonely or isolated can visit for some good company and a hot, free meal. (Booking is essential).  The event also allows care home residents to meet new people from the community.

In addition the home and staff do a great deal to support people living with dementia, including families and carers.  Examples include a weekly (paid for) therapy session and dementia awareness and information sessions for the public and businesses/organisations.  The customer relations manager has co-founded a steering group working towards making Cringleford dementia- friendly, which now involves the local headmaster, a Cringleford Hub trustee, the managing director of local domiciliary service, the manager of local Tesco, the organiser of a local lunch club and local residents.

Visit the Care UK website for more information.

For their strategic role in the county and also directly getting numerous programmes to tackle loneliness off the ground, including 20 good neighbour schemes.

Extra Care Home Services, which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, provides private domiciliary care, domestic and gardening services, and to assist people with tasks that maybe are now getting too difficult for them to manage.  Their aim is to help people remain independent in their own home for as long as they want or are able to.

The organisation has been awarded the Quality Plus Mark because workers go over and above the remit of the organisation by regularly spending extra time with the person they are supporting, using their own time to sit and have a cup of tea or carry out wider activities over and above agreed care packages.  This is shown through many testimonials from clients.  The organisation actively encourages clients to remain engaged with their communities by encouraging them to visit day centres and receive home visits from churches or befrienders.

Visit www.extra-care.co.uk for more information.

For running activities to bring different generations together, including Little Visitors where parents, visit residents of care homes with their babies/young children and a Pen Pal project to encourage people to write to residents of care homes.

Harleston Information Plus is a vibrant information centre which is open six days a week for the local community.  The organisation has been awarded a Quality Mark Plus because on top of its day-to-day work, it provides a very large and growing range of services aimed at helping people increase their social interaction, and boosting confidence and self-esteem among job seekers.  These range from Stitch and Chatter, Tea and Chat to a jobs club.

There is a wealth of testimony that customers highly value the volunteers who work at the centre, that the events they provide are a lifeline and requesting more of them.  The organisation has also shown a strong commitment to fundraising with the aim of increasing their resources so they can expand and help more local people at risk of loneliness.

Visit www.harleston-norfolk.org.uk for more information.

For running a high number of different projects to tackle social isolation and loneliness among lots of different groups of people at high risk – including Project search with students with learning difficulties, employing people from the Armed Forces and intergenerational projects at Norse Care homes.  Also for allowing staff time off to volunteer.

The Good Neighbour scheme is a busy volunteer-led service providing practical short term help (free of charge, excluding some costs) to anyone in North Walsham who needs and requests it.  One-off jobs might include giving someone a lift to go shopping or visit a relative in hospital, changing a light bulb or clearing an overgrown garden, filling in a form or walking a dog.  Befriending rotas also involve approximately six volunteers who visit or telephone people on a regular basis.

The scheme has been awarded a Quality Mark Plus because it has gone above and beyond its original remit, which is to give one-off practical help, by expanding to provide new services, such as befriending, which are designed to combat loneliness among people in a community which has a high number of older people.

Visit www.nwgoodneighbour.org.uk for more information.

This organisation covers communities in Braydeston, Brundall and Postwick parishes near Norwich.  It has been awarded a Quality Mark Plus because, in addition to its day-to-day remit, it has identified the need to tackle loneliness as one of its stated priorities within its published plan for development and growth.

To meet this objective, they have set up and run a range of weekly cafes for specific groups of people who they have identified as being vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness in their area, including:

  • Older people
  • People on the dementia pathway and their carers
  • Parents with young children who may be feeling isolated
  • Young people (as identified by the Broadland youth advisory board)

They can also arrange transport to these activities for people who are not mobile, helping to overcome one of the barriers for people who may be suffering from social isolation.

Visit www.yarevalleychurches.org.uk for more information.

Quality Mark winners

As part of the wider Age UK network (each organisation is an independent charity), Age Concern Swaffham's remit is to provide a range of high quality services to older people and is dedicated to combatting loneliness, for example through the campaign to end loneliness and  the befriending service.

Age Concern Swaffham has also received the Quality Mark for its one-to-one befriending and hospital buddy transport service for people in the local area.  Volunteers help keep older people in touch with their community by either visiting them on a regular basis at home or by providing transport.  The organisation also runs monthly meetings which include guest speakers, entertainment, chair exercises and outings for 150 members.

To find out more about Age UK and Age Concern services, or to volunteer visit www.ageuk.org.uk

As part of the wider Age UK network (each organisation is an independent charity), Age UK Norfolk's remit is to provide a range of high quality services to older people and is dedicated to combatting loneliness, for example through the campaign to end loneliness and the befriending service.

Age UK Norfolk has also received its Quality Mark for its telephone befriending service, volunteering opportunities, four dementia cafes and Money Matters, which helps people with their paperwork in their homes and day services in Costessey and Diss.

To find out more about Age UK and Age Concern services, or to volunteer visit www.ageuk.org.uk.

As part of the wider Age UK network (each organisation is an independent charity), Age UK Norfolk's remit is to provide a range of high quality services to older people and is dedicated to combatting loneliness, for example through the campaign to end loneliness and the befriending service.

Age UK Norwich has also received its Quality Mark for its face-to-face befriending service for housebound people in Norwich and neighbourhood, activities for people living with dementia including families/carers at their day care centre at Thorpe Hamlet and the AgeWise project, funded by the National Lottery, which includes intergenerational activities and volunteering opportunities.

To find out more about Age UK and Age Concern services, or to volunteer please visit www.ageuk.org.uk

Butterfly Butties is a weekly lunch club for local senior citizens hosted by young people (including some with learning difficulties) who volunteer at Butterfly House, Kings Lynn. Lunch is prepared by the young people and each week a different activity is held including bingo, singing, dancing and story telling.

Butterfly Butties have received a Quality Mark because the overall remit of the initiative is to reduce loneliness among older people in the community and increase intergenerational contact at the same time.  The young volunteers have many plans for expanding the service including making it mobile and producing a memory book, recording events and interactions that take place at the clubs.

Visit www.benjaminfoundation.co.uk for more information

Caister-on-Sea Women's Institute (WI) has been awarded a Quality Mark because, as part of the WI, its remit is to promote social engagement and learning for local women aged 18 plus.  The members work in the local area to facilitate inclusive community events that encourage community spirit, volunteering and unity.  They arrange day trips, meals out, theatre trips and short holidays and there are sub groups in reading, craft, Scrabble and walking.  The branch has assisted with the creation of the Light up Caister event, helped create the remodelled Caister Carnival Village Experience in 2017 and have three members on the newly formed Caister in Bloom committee.

In addition, the branch is keen to emphasise the efforts they make to welcome guests and new members and encourage more people to participate through high levels of local promotion.

Visit the Caister-on-Sea Women's Instutute website for more information.

The Charles Burrell Centre, as a vibrant community facility for Thetford’s residents, has been awarded its Quality Mark because promotes and enable better social interaction in the community.  The centre, also works to increase people’s employability, removing a potential barrier to social isolation.  It hosts a range of wellbeing workshops and drop in sessions by NHS Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and a wide range of social activities to promote social wellbeing.

The centre provides volunteering opportunities for all ages to encourage people to be social, boost self-confidence and develop skills that have led to employment opportunities.

Visit www.charlesburrellcentre.org.uk for more information.

Community Action Norwich has been awarded a Quality Mark because its remit is to alleviate loneliness in Lakenham.  The organisation runs a day centre twice a week to  provide a safe place for people to meet others for games, conversation, food and entertainment.  It can also provide respite for carers.  Transport can be arranged for attendees and pastoral visits to club members take place.

Visit www.communityactionnorwich.co.uk for more information.

Runs a social lunch for up to 70 residents once a month.  For some who go along, it can be one of their only social engagements.

A vibrant social hub for the community of Swardeston, providing all sorts of activities for residents – from reminiscence, craft and exercise sessions to health and wellbeing services under one roof.

Holt Community Cafe Association has been awarded a Quality Mark because it runs social events specifically designed to encourage the attendance of people who can be excluded from community for a variety of reasons and therefore at risk of social isolation and loneliness.

The service provides a free two course lunch once a week, held at the Holt Community Hub which is part of the parish council.  It is open to the wider community but service users include those with mental health issues or who are financially or emotionally excluded from the community, or are just lonely.  Around 70 people attend per week.  A Christmas Day meal is also provided each year for 100 people.

Visit us on Facebook for more information.

Based in Costessey - allows housebound people to maintain a social life by ensuring people they trust have access to their homes through a special key code.

As a community information centre, Merchant’s Place has been awarded a Quality Mark because its remit is to provide a source of help for all members of the community, including people who can find themselves excluded from community activities for a variety of reasons and therefore at risk of social isolation and loneliness.

In particular it assists service users with issues such as debt, careers, training, health and wellbeing – issues which can lead to social isolation and loneliness.

The organisation has recently started to run some social events designed to help attendees engage in conversation and make friendships and aims for these to become regular sessions in the future.

Visit merchantsplace.co.uk for more information.

Tens of volunteers ensure scores of people in the Great Yarmouth area don’t have to spend Christmas alone each year.

Pets as Therapy (PAT) is a group of registered volunteers who meet with various service users to give them quality time interacting and de-stressing with their calm, friendly dogs.

Pets as Therapy has been awarded a Quality Mark because its remit is to provide therapy and reduce anxiety in a fun, social way, to vulnerable groups of people who can be at risk of social isolation and loneliness, from students and older people to those with disabilities.

Visit petsastherapy.org for more information.

A band of volunteers who ensure their neighbours don’t have to spend a lonely day if they don’t want to – through coffee mornings, providing transport to help people get to appointments and befriending new residents.

This is a friendly, welcoming and growing organisation that runs drop-in singing sessions for adults in in Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Sheringham, Attleborough and Norwich.  The sessions are open to all, but particularly those who have experienced mental health problems.  Sessions are led by professional voice coaches, but everything else is done by volunteers. 

The organisation has been awarded a Quality Mark because its remit is to combat loneliness among people who can suffer social isolation due to mental ill health and designed to boost confidence through singing and participating in the running of the organisation.

Visit www.singyourheartout.org.uk for more information.

This club, run by six volunteers, has been awarded a Quality Mark because it runs activities for ladies in the Walcott area who are lonely and isolated or suffer from mental health issues.  These include art and craft activities, outings, building self-esteem and wellbeing courses.  The organisation has the support of local GPs, their local MP, Hellesdon Hospital and local churches.

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a worldwide organisation that increases social interaction among for retired and semi-retired people, a group vulnerable to experiencing loneliness, through a network of local U3As, which provide a range of different learning and social activities for a small fee (non members can join meetings for a £2 donation).

Thetford U3A has been awarded a Quality Mark because it fulfils this remit and has successfully expanded its membership and range of activities, providing an informative, convivial and friendly environment to make friends, learn something new and have fun.

It currently has 350 members and runs 40 different activity groups ranging from sport, languages, history, book club, cookery and debating.  Non members can join meetings for a donation of £2.

Visit www.u3a.org.uk for more information.

This organisation has been awarded a Quality Mark because it is dedicated to reducing loneliness and increasing social interaction among older people by providing a befriending service.  Fifty trained volunteers are matched with and visit socially isolated older people across West Norfolk.  Clients are assessed prior to matching with particular attention to social isolation and outcomes around increasing social interaction.

Visit www.wnbefriending.org.uk for more information.

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