VIY expands work across Norfolk tackling loneliness and isolation

13 November 2023

We’re excited to be working with Norfolk Community Foundation through the UK Government Know Your Neighbourhood Fund to renovate six community spaces over the next 18 months in Great Yarmouth, all with the aim of increasing volunteering and tackling isolation in the community.

Since 2022, thanks to support from the likes of UK Community Renewal Fund, Orbit Housing and Norwich Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL), we have refurbished 29 community spaces in Norfolk, including grassroots sports clubs like Norwich Lads Boxing Club, creating a growing garden space in Holt Youth Project and transforming the newly reopened Gorleston Community Hub. In total we’ve enabled over 250 volunteering experiences for young people in the county.

Our first project in partnership with Norfolk Community Foundation has seen us work with the Norfolk and Suffolk Islamic Mission, a local charity based at the Masjid-At Tauweed on Northgate Street – the first mosque built in Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas over 20 years ago. We’ve modernised the kitchen area and redecorated rooms in their community space, to make it a more welcoming space for those coming to pray, to be with others and take part in community activities.

Working through the People From Abroad team through Norfolk County Council, 29 young people built their skills, confidence and a brighter future by volunteering on this project, as they settle into life with refugee status in the UK. In total, over 80 young people supported by this team have volunteered across four other VIY projects in the local area, including at New Routes Integration, a centre which supports refugees with housing, employability and social integration, and Norfolk Community Arts – a space for people from all backgrounds including those with disabilities to be involved in music.

We’re looking forward to five more projects in Great Yarmouth – with the next to come early in the new year.

VIY Mentor Dom guides young learners at our project with Norfolk & Suffolk Islamic Mission