We were formed in 2014 by a joint initiative by the two District Councils and Community Action Norfolk (CAN) as the county promoter and coordinator of most voluntary sector services.
We have a management committee which meets quarterly. We started with about 10 volunteers with a duty coordinator responding to client calls to a mobile phone and matching the request to a volunteer with the time and means to complete the task.
We aim to formalise neighbourly support arrangements for those in recognised need which, informally, have been around for decades; and, to do so in a safe and secure manner, for both the Client and the volunteer, such that public trust may be placed in the scheme.
We do not aim to displace or compete with existing informal ‘next door’ or ‘across the road’ type arrangements but offer an alternative for those who can’t access informal arrangements or who seek assured support with less risk for the vulnerable.
What can we do?
- If you are feeling lonely or isolated, we can set up a befriending service whereby one of our volunteers will come and see you on a regular basis or have regular telephone chats if circumstances don’t allow the former
- Help with practical things e.g. changing light bulbs and curtains, occasional ironing
- We can also help with dog walking and small gardening jobs if you are medically unfit for a short period of time. If any of these are required for longer term, we will refer you to a specialist for which you would have to pay for
- We can arrange transport for local shopping trips and visits to family but for all medical appointments, please contact The Voluntary Community Car Team on 01603 784455
- What we can do depends on the abilities of the volunteers we have available.
- We will not undertake tasks which are covered by recognised professional accreditation or which are complex or with significant risks and liabilities.
- Where help can’t be given the GNS will aim to refer clients on to more appropriate providers.
- Volunteers are vetted by DBS checks and are trained to keep clients and themselves safe and operate under insurance cover.
- The GNS is mostly funded by discretionary grants from various charitable organisations and by contributions from clients.
- We primarily serve Wroxham and Hoveton but can consider requests from adjoining villages.
How it works
- Clients can contact W&HGNS by phone, email and website to make a request
- Our duty coordinator will record the request and match it to a volunteer.
- Once the task is complete or referred on then the record is closed accordingly.
- If the task involves significant car travel then clients are asked to cover the volunteers costs at the HMRC recommended non profit rate of 45p/mile, but that’s a transaction between the Client and the volunteer, not the GNS.
- Similarly, where materials are needed the Client is required to fund them.
The GNS reserves the right to decline requests where they are not within the capacity of volunteers or if they are unreasonable; in which case Clients are advised to try another provider.
We are always looking for volunteers who can offer time and expertise to help others in the community in less fortunate circumstances. It offers an opportunity to give back to society and improve quality of life in the community by providing the most locally based and cost effective support to those with intermittent or regular needs.
If you would like to know more, or join, then please contact the Chairman: Nigel Dixon 01603 783885, Secretary: Liz Allard 01603 782058 or Treasurer: Elaine Vincent 01603 486774 for more details, or use our contact form.
Important Small Print
- We are a volunteer organisation and will make every effort to meet requests by ensuring relevant risks are identified and managed down to safe levels for both Clients and volunteers.
- Appropriate insurance cover is in place in case of accidents.
- We will take all reasonable steps to comply with legislation and common sense precautions but as voluntary organisation we rely on the goodwill and discretion of both Client and Volunteers in the provision of support and services.
- If you need any other information about the scheme then please contact the GNS duty coordinator on 07501 362793.