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Two more steps taken in the battle against loneliness in Norfolk

02 October 2017

Norfolk County Council’s Chairman, John Ward, has announced a new challenge for his year in office by inviting young people in Norfolk to help tackle loneliness in their local communities and calling for more adult volunteers to support youth organisations.

Speaking at a reception to launch the challenge, attended by a number of youth organisations, including the About with Friends Youth Group, Special Olympics Norfolk and Norfolk Cricket Board, Norfolk Scouts and Girlguiding Norfolk, and civic dignitaries, Councillor Ward, said: “During my year in office, I want to draw attention to Norfolk’s youth organisations and the marvellous youth development work which goes on in our communities.

“So I have invited these organisations to take part in my ‘Young people’s Chairman’s challenge’ and in particular to engage with lonely, isolated or vulnerable people in their local communities as part of our In Good Company campaign to combat loneliness in Norfolk.

“I also want to encourage more adult volunteering, particularly with youth organisations.

“All youth groups rely on volunteers in some way or other and most cannot operate without them. I would dearly like to see more Norfolk residents to try out volunteering and to kick start this, I have invited county council staff to volunteer with youth organisations, or an organisation of their choice."

The event which was held on Friday evening also heard that 21 Norfolk organisations have been granted In Good Company approval marks for the quality of work they do to tackle loneliness in the county.

Among the list are seven organisations who have been granted Plus marks, for going above and beyond the general remit of their day to day work to tackle a loneliness problem in their communities.
Presenting the first approval marks, Wendy Thomson, Managing Director of Norfolk County Council said: “People who are lonely are more likely to suffer ill health, more likely to be reliant on public services and more likely to lose their independence. Recent research by the Campaign to End Loneliness and London School of Economics also suggests that loneliness is a particular challenge in Norfolk.

“Our In Good Company campaign is designed to combat loneliness by galvanising individuals and organisations to do as much as they can to ensure no one spends a lonely day in Norfolk if they don’t want to.

“The list of the first recipients of these new quality approval marks shines a light on the vital work being done by a diverse range of organisations to tackle the problem at grass roots in our county. I congratulate them. Their quality marks are hard earned and well deserved.

“We welcome more applications from the many others – particularly businesses - that we know are also working hard to tackle this problem in local communities across Norfolk.”

The first In Good Company approved organisations are as follows:

In Good Company Approved Plus Mark

  • Active Norfolk
  • Bee Seated, Great Yarmouth
  • Cavell Court Care Home, Cringleford
  • Extra Care Home Service, North Walsham
  • Harleston Information Plus
  • North Walsham Good Neighbours Scheme
  • Yare Valley Churches, Brundall

In Good Company Approved Mark

  • Age Concern Swaffham
  • Age UK Norfolk
  • Age UK Norwich
  • Butterfly Butties, King’s Lynn
  • Caister on Sea Women’s Institute
  • Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford
  • Community Action Norwich
  • Holt Community Café Association
  • Merchant’s Place Community Resource and Learning Centre, Cromer
  • Pets As Therapy
  • Sing Your Heart Out
  • SWAN (Support Women’s Activity Network), Walcott
  • Thetford University of the Third Age
  • West Norfolk Befriending, King’s Lynn

Information about the In Good Company campaign and the quality approval mark, including how to apply, can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany

For more information about the work that the newly quality approved organisations do to tackle loneliness get in touch with Norfolk County Council Communications Team.

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