With people living longer the work of charities devoted to supporting an increasingly ageing population is becoming ever more important.
One local group, West Norfolk Befriending, has been working for more than twelve years to help isolated elderly people for example, who have lost loved ones, or who are trapped in their homes because of their physical condition or because they are no longer able to drive.
On Saturday, they held a fund-raising coffee morning, complete with stalls, organised by volunteer Dot Nurse, pictured above, centre, at Dersingham Freebridge Sheltered Housing Community Centre, which attracted scores of supporters.
She said: “We hold two a year and each normally raises around £500/600. The money is used to pay for social events.”
The Befrienders have a network of around 50 trained volunteers across the region who visit isolated people. During 2015-16, they worked with 170 such people.
Chief executive Pippa May, pictured third right, said: “We sit and chat and bring the inside world in. We ease their isolation and provide a listening ear.”
Volunteers may make a cup of tea as they socialise with their client, but don’t do physical work such as preparing meals, doing laundry or shopping. That is left to other agencies.
Mrs May said: “We are always looking for more volunteers, including those who could help with fund-raising.”
For more information, visit www.wnbefriending.org.uk or phone 01553 763500.
Also pictured above are, from left, Margaret Greaves, Linda Johnson, Rita Picton, Linda Woodley, Jean McGuinness and Peter Smith. MLNF17PB05651