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Norfolk residents are being urged to support people struggling with isolation or loneliness through ‘check in and chat’ scheme

Volunteers are needed to provide vital support to people struggling with loneliness and isolation.

The NHS and the Care Volunteer Responders group are calling for Norfolk residents to join the dedicated team of ‘check in and chat’ volunteers who brighten the days and boost the wellbeing of people in need.

The volunteering programme supports the NHS and some of the community’s most vulnerable people.

The scheme helps to support people suffering with loneliness or isolation. Picture: iStock
The scheme helps to support people suffering with loneliness or isolation. Picture: iStock

Through the service, volunteers offer support to people struggling with loneliness and isolation by offering a listening ear through phone calls.

Around one million calls have been made by volunteers to date to support isolated people across England.

Among the dedicated volunteers is Norfolk resident Karen Huball, who has found completing calls to be very rewarding and engaging.

She said: “The best part is communicating with people across the country from different backgrounds.

“I learn something new from each call, and it is a great way to gain valuable communication skills.

“I work full-time so am not able to volunteer on a regular basis but whenever I can, I take a task or two.

“I enjoy the programme’s flexibility, you can make volunteering work around your schedule.”

Karen hopes her efforts will encourage fellow residents to step forward and give volunteering a go.

Sam Ward, deputy CEO of the Royal Voluntary Service, said: "A ‘check in and chat’ phone call with a volunteer has the ability to brighten a person's day, lift their spirits and even improve their wellbeing.

“But that works both ways, because volunteers are regularly sharing just how much they also benefit from making ‘check in and chat’ calls.

“It’s heartening to know that one million of these wonderful calls and conversations have taken place, and we’re hoping to inspire people in Norfolk to be part of the team making the next million calls.”

Volunteering with the NHS and Care Volunteer Responders is flexible and is managed through the GoodSAM smartphone app, allowing volunteers to make a positive impact at times that suit them.

Those looking to make a difference can visit the website for more details and how to sign up: nhscarevolunteerresponders.org

Receiving a call is easy and completely free.

People in Norfolk can request support for themselves or someone they know, with that person's permission, by calling 0808 196 3382.

Further information is available at https://nhscarevolunteerresponders.org/refer-a-loved-one.

Got a story? Email molly.nicholas@iliffepublishing.co.uk

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