April 17 2014 Latest news:

A volunteer group is looking for people to befriend elderly residents across north Norfolk.

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Voluntary Norfolk has linked up the Victory Housing Trust, and is looking for befrienders to visit some of the 55pc of residents who are aged 65 or over in a bid to improve their health and wellbeing.

It is seeking new volunteers in the North Norfolk area who can make a commitment to meeting with a resident once a week, for around two hours at a time.

It might involve sitting and chatting, going for a walk or taking a trip out to a cafe or the cinema. Both parties can get a great deal from the partnerships, which usually last for 18 months, although many progress to become enduring friendships.

Voluntary Norfolk’s befriending service coordinator, Natalie Hickman, said: “The benefits reported by people who receive visits from befrienders include greatly increased confidence and positivity, a new interest in life and a greater sense of wellbeing and security. This helps people to maintain a higher level of independence for longer and decreases or delays the need for other support such as social service intervention or hospital care.”

Contact Natalie Hickman, befriending service coordinator, on 01263 510 701 or email natalie.hickman@voluntarynorfolk.org.uk.

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