North Norfolk organisation given funding boost.

A north Norfolk befriending service which helps the elderly and their carers has been awarded more than �100,000 in funding.

Age Concern North Norfolk, which has now become Age UK North Norfolk, has secured �104,554 to expand its service for older people living in isolated areas of north Norfolk.

The grant has come from the Big Lottery Fund's Reaching Communities Programme which aims to help those most in need and build stronger communities.

The project provides trained volunteers who visit and support isolated, frail and lonely older people through face to face visits at home. It also provides support via regular social groups and events.

The grant will mean the organisation will be able to extend its volunteer training programme and develop methods of tackling the effects of violence and abuse often suffered by those caring for people with Alzheimer's or dementia, which Elva Gledhill, befriending manager with the organisation, said was one of the problems they were getting more and more calls about.

She added: 'This is absolutely wonderful news, it will help us expand the befriending scheme we have already got running and build on it, we hope to train 10 new volunteers over the next three years.'

Also receiving a �115,190, grant is St Edmund & Waveney YMCA Limited, who will use the funding to offer a drop-in service and a youth club, leisure activities plus a range of activities to encourage further education and higher aspirations.

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Sara Betsworth, from the Big Lottery Fund's east of England region, said: 'These projects show how the Reaching Communities programme continues to make a real difference in helping disadvantaged people across the east of England to improve their lives or take steps towards fulfilling their potential, while helping to tackle other underlying issues.'

Age UK North Norfolk, with the help of Victory Housing Community Fund, is running a winter checklist scheme over the next few months, with a free visit from one of the team to complete a brief checklist and to help people find the information and support they may need. A limited number of free carbon monoxide alarms will be available as part of the scheme.

For more information, contact 01263 519195.