West Norfolk charity given vital lockdown boost by county foundation
A West Norfolk charity received a welcome boost of £8,885 to provide a telephone befriending service for the elderly during lockdown.
West Norfolk Befriending have continued to support socially isolated older people throughout the pandemic thanks to the money from Norfolk Community Foundation.
The donation allowed the charity to switch their service to provide regular telephone calls between volunteers and clients, which has allowed the service to support more people than ever.
They now plan to keep the telephone service running alongside their existing face-to-face service in the future. There are also plans to expand into email befriending, video calls and a pen-pal letter-writing service.
Lauren Ephithite, operational support officer, said: “Before COVID, we used to organise several social events a year and last met in March with an afternoon tea at Dobbies cafe in Lynn.”
“Several of our fundraisers have had to be cancelled, but we are looking forward to getting out and about in the community again to support events, raise awareness and funds for our charity once it is safe to do so.”
The charity matches volunteer befrienders with clients who are usually in their eighties or nineties, living in their own home but struggling with poor mobility, sight or hearing problems.
A volunteer for the charity said: “I think befriending says it all; we provide social contact for people who live alone, we provide a listening ear and our time.”
The service the charity provides also supports carers, both paid and unpaid, and the families of clients by taking the pressure off and allowing them time to take a break.
Lauren said: “We are always keen to hear from people interested in volunteering with us. We are looking for someone to join our board of trustees as our treasurer.”
For more information, visit the website: https://wnbefriending.org.uk/