Over 6,000 People to Benefit from Local Funding in Great Yarmouth

More than 6,000 people are being supported by Norfolk Community Foundation into volunteering and opportunities to build social connections thanks to the Government’s Know Your Neighbourhood Fund.

Over £1.1million has been allocated by Norfolk Community Foundation to create high quality volunteering opportunities and support people experiencing, or at risk of loneliness in Great Yarmouth. This will support over 6,000 people with access to opportunities such as training young people in youth work, encouraging people to sign up to be scout leaders, enabling people to engage in community gardening and supporting isolated people through activities like board game clubs.

Norfolk Community Foundation, along with eight other accredited community foundations from the UKCF network has been supporting a range of projects aimed at tackling loneliness and increasing volunteering.

Recent research has found that those living in the most deprived areas are more likely to report feeling lonely, as well as being less likely to volunteer. Research has also shown that loneliness is closely linked with mental health and wellbeing, and that certain types of volunteering opportunities can help connect communities and help people develop skills and grow their networks.

Jo Critch wears a Feathers Futures purple polo shirt and smiles at the camera in airy open gallery.
Jo Critch from Feathers Futures, one group benefitting from the funding

Feathers Futures are a charity supporting women in Great Yarmouth. They are using their funding to recruit an additional 20 volunteers each year, offering 10 accredited peer mentor training to be able to use their lived experience to support others in similar situations.

Jo hopes that recruiting more volunteers will enable more women to meet, stating that “over 80% of women accessing Feathers Futures felt isolated and lonely before coming, this mirrors many of the conversations we have and was the reason we run a number of social groups with the primary aim of reducing isolation”. Jo added that “We know from our first cohort of peer mentors that not only did we benefit from their increased skills and confidence, but that they reported they felt more confident at home and out and about in the community.”

Stuart Andrew stands on the south bank of the river Thames. He wears a blue suit.

“Loneliness is something anyone can experience, at any time. We know that volunteering can help people connect, as well as improving mental wellbeing and helping people develop new skills. This funding will mean those in some of the most disadvantaged areas across the country are able to volunteer in an area that interests them. From arts groups to skills development workshops, there are thousands of ways for people to get involved, meet new people and try new things.”

Stuart Andrew, Civil Society Minister
Black and white photograph of Rosemary Macdonald

  “Community foundations see the impact of services that tackle loneliness on a daily basis. From urban high streets to rural hamlets, local grassroots organisations remain a valued asset at the heart of community life.”

Rosemary Macdonald, CEO, UK Community Foundations

“We are thrilled to be partnering with DCMS through the UK Community Foundation Network to bring much needed funding into Great Yarmouth. At a time when so many people are struggling with loneliness and isolation, community connection is needed more than ever. We are proud to be able to support projects that will engage people with volunteering in Great Yarmouth, helping them to become less isolated and to help others find friendship, too. Through a raft of funding opportunities, we will enable local people to take action together and make communities where everyone is included and appreciated.”

Claire Cullens, CEO, Norfolk Community Foundation
An activity taking place at Age Connected Great Yarmouth

“Being a volunteer at Age Connected has helped me so much in what were very dark times for me when I had no confidence, self-worth and was stricken with anxiety every day. I came to the centre to find some help that day, and the cup of tea and time the staff spent with me, it really did change my life for the better and I still say, that day I took my first step forward and I haven’t looked back, they wanted to listen to me and talk about me, I felt like a ton of concrete had been taken off my back. They saw the worth in me and so did the other volunteers. They were all lovely and now I can say are my friends, That centre is a special and friendly place and I see what magic it does every day. I come in 3 days a week and my support worker is amazed by my improvement and how strong I am with day to day life. I’ve found me again.”

Volunteer, Age Connected Great Yarmouth


Some of the organisations to benefit from the £1.1million funded by Norfolk Community Foundation include:

  • Great Yarmouth Pathway
  • St Mary Magdalene PCC (Gorleston)
  • The Bread Kitchen CIC
  • The Shoebox Enterprises CIC
  • Volunteer It Yourself CIC
  • St George’s Theatre
  • Mancroft Advice Project (MAP)
  • Wastesmiths CIC
  • MensCraft
  • Age Connected Great Yarmouth
  • Afghanistan and Central Asian Association
  • Home-Start Norfolk
  • Feathers Futures CIO
  • East Norfolk District Scout Council
  • Action Community Enterprise CIC Limited

Published: 27.10.23