Volunteering is another way of showing you Love West Norfolk

The work of West Norfolk voluntary group Forward
The work of West Norfolk voluntary group Forward

The Love West Norfolk campaign is more than just a way of declaring what is great about this area – it also aiming to leave a positive legacy.

And one way in which people can do that is through volunteering to help their fellow residents.

Members of Forward

Members of Forward

This is the message from Community Action Norfolk, a leading charity which supports the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Norfolk.

Community Action Norfolk, which is a key partner in the #lovewestnorfolk campaign, says that there are more than 1,000 voluntary and community sector organisations based in the West Norfolk CCG area, some 600 of which are registered charities.

Which means that West Norfolk benefits from an abundance of volunteers, who are making a difference to many good causes in loads of different ways.

Jo Maule, locality manager for Community Action Norfolk said: “West Norfolk is blessed with hundreds of homegrown voluntary organisations that do amazing things to show their love for West Norfolk. 

Members of Forward

Members of Forward

“Every person who volunteers in our community helps make sure it is a great place to live for as many people as possible. 

“To these local heroes we want to say a huge thank you.  Through this fantastic campaign we would also love to see more local people pledge to show their love for West Norfolk through volunteering, however much time they are able to spare.”

Some eight per cent of the population in the borough engage in voluntary work, meaning that many people are already involved with good causes in the community.

Jo added: “Volunteering is hugely beneficial – both to the charity which is able to access the skills and knowledge and support which the individual is providing, and to the volunteer who can learn new skills, meet new people, and really feel that they are making a difference in their community.

Smashed greenhouse after gales in North Lynn. Owned by Forward

Smashed greenhouse after gales in North Lynn. Owned by Forward

“People in West Norfolk have always shown such generosity with their time. If anyone is thinking about how they can show their love for West Norfolk, we would highly recommend volunteering.”

Anyone wishing to know more can find information about local volunteering opportunities locally on the Ask Lily volunteering page: http://asklily.org.uk/kb5/westnorfolk/cd/community.page?communitychannel=8 or go to www.voluntarynorfolk.org.uk/volunteering/

A good example of the sort of organisation needing volunteers is Forward Day Centre.

This is a modern charity based in Lynn supporting adults with learning disabilities (members) to progress, achieve and become independent in the community. 

No Caption ABCDE

No Caption ABCDE

Established in 1982, Forward operates from three sites:

n Millfleet, next to the Kings Lynn library, which has specialist facilities including sensory and sound beam rooms, kitchen. This also include Studio 1 arts, crafts, and funky furniture recycling - and there are also plans for a gift shop later in the year;  

n Forward also rents a factory unit named Ezone on the North Lynn industrial estate where members design, manufacture and sell all kinds of high quality products ranging from candles, jewellery, wooden garden furniture to printing t-shirts, mugs, and other promotional materials. Members from Ezone also sell their products in supermarkets and at local events through their own registered trademark called NoLabel. 

n In addition, Forward also offers Sow and Grow groups at North Lynn Allotments, learning about growing, healthy eating and the environment. 

Last week’s high winds led to the group having a greenhouse wrecked here and they are now looking for help replacing it.

Steve Fuller, chief executive, said: “We enjoy being part of the West Norfolk community and welcome people into our facilities.  West Norfolk Young Carers and Mencap both use our premises for their meetings and clubs.

Jo Maule, of Community Action Norfolk

Jo Maule, of Community Action Norfolk

“Many of the members contribute locally by volunteering with other charities or places of interest including St Nicholas Chapel, Tapping House, the British Heart Foundation, the Olive Branch Community Café, and Highgate Infant school.

“One of our aims is, ‘to always take care of the people around us’.

“We pride ourselves in being part of a friendly and supportive community, working in partnership with other local charities and agencies to strengthen the community and support the most vulnerable people.”

If someone wishes to volunteer they can contact Forward directly on 01553 776910, or through www.forwarddc.org.uk , Facebook account Forward kings Lynn, or Twitter Forward King’s Lynn @forward_lynn.