Daycare centre pleads for more volunteers to stay afloat

Karen beck, head carer at Heritage House in Wells, with volunteers Barbara Blackburn and Peter Terrington.

Karen beck, head carer at Heritage House in Wells, with volunteers Barbara Blackburn and Peter Terrington. - Credit: Addie Granville

The team at a Norfolk daycare centre is hoping to bounce back from the pandemic stronger than ever before.

Heritage House in Mill Road, Wells is appealing for people across the town to come and help them look after residents by volunteering.

The daycare centre, which has been running since September 1985, provides its users with freshly cooked meals, days out and entertainment, along with high-quality care.

Heritage House in Wells is appealing for people across the town to come and help them look after residents with volunteering.

Heritage House in Wells is appealing for people across the town to come and help them look after residents with volunteering. - Credit: Addie Granville

The centre says there has been a decline in volunteer numbers over the years, from 80 when they first started, to just 20 now.

But there is still a strong core of volunteers, includes some people who have holiday homes in the town.

Addie Granville, a volunteer since 2019, said having more volunteers join the service would relieve pressure on those already there, including the management team. 

The Heritage House volunteers were invited to tour Holkham halls arboretum by Heritage House patron Lady Leicester.

The Heritage House volunteers were invited to tour Holkham halls arboretum by Heritage House patron Lady Leicester. - Credit: Addie Granville

Ms Granville said it had sometimes been difficult to find enough volunteers to keep the service running smoothly, meaning some volunteers were taking on more duties than they originally signed on for. 

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“There have been days where it has been touch and go, but people have been stepping up,” she said.

“Whilst it throws up admin issues, they have always been sorted because everyone has stepped up.
 
“That constant nagging worry they are planning ahead and keep asking, people always say yes, but we want to get to a place where it isn’t too much of a pressure or stress on them. It would be nice not to have to worry about that.”

Heritage House head carer Karen Beck takes to the dance floor with Margaret raven.

Heritage House head carer Karen Beck takes to the dance floor with Margaret Raven. - Credit: Addie Granville

The group has undergone changes so it can continue to serve its users through the pandemic. It now delivers food to homes as part of a 'meals on wheels' scheme, and volunteers regularly call users for a friendly chat and to check in on their wellbeing.

But complying with national guidance has left the group in need of more support.

Ms Granville said: “It was tricky with social distancing, and the rules we had to apply for people’s safety. There are not as many people on the bus, and we need twice as many volunteers”.

Heritage House in Wells provides its residents with an array of entertainment.  

Heritage House in Wells provides its residents with an array of entertainment. - Credit: Addie Granville

Anyone interested in volunteering at Heritage House can get in touch with them by email at admin@heritagehousecare.org.uk or phone 01328 711333.