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Call for organisations to come together to create stronger communities

PUBLISHED: 10:57 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:57 03 October 2017

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, and Terenia Morrison, from Age UK Norfolk. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, and Terenia Morrison, from Age UK Norfolk. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Geraldine Scott

Working together will be the only way to tackle the gap left between dwindling budgets and growing healthcare needs, a new report has claimed.

The issues which Norfolk Community Foundation hope can be tackled in Norfolk. Photo: Norfolk Community FoundationThe issues which Norfolk Community Foundation hope can be tackled in Norfolk. Photo: Norfolk Community Foundation

Norfolk Community Foundation’s Vital Signs signs report, launched this morning (Tuesday), made the claim in a bid to encourage charities and organisations to come together to solve a range of challenges.

These included nearly 21,000 people in Norfolk over the age of 65 being lonely all or most of the time, a 77pc increase in the number of residents over the age of 75 by 2030, and the county having the second highest number of excess winter deaths in the region.

But Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the grant-giving organisation, said collaboration was key in building stronger communities and ensuring wellbeing.

“We really want to encourage more collaboration, more partnership, with the people involved in our sector,” he said.

“When we stop and look, there’s reduced funding and we can’t expect people like Norfolk County Council and other organisations to solve all the problems.”

He added: “It’s only through building stronger communities we can do this.”

To create these communities, Mr Tuttle pointed towards schemes such as Age UK Norfolk’s befriending service and the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Young Carers (GYGYC) support group, both of which he said took on issues in specific areas. And encouraged donors to work together with the foundation to help fund them.

Terenia Morrison, Age UK Norfolk befriending coordinator, gave examples of how their weekly telephone call service kept mainly older people involved. she said: “Many times when we call members they will say ‘I can’t wait for my weekly call because it’s the only call I have a week’.”

By helping small organisations, Mr Tuttle said communities would be more resilient to fighting issues such as loneliness. He said: “In many cases small community groups and charities can operate sustainably with minimal funds, but as costs increase and fundraising is more challenging, access to grant aid is vital to help these groups grow and thrive.”

• To find out more about donating, contact Graham Tuttle or Claire Cullens on 01603 623958 or visit www.norfolkfoundation.com

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